Day one Week fourteen Year 2017
And now without any further ado the word BOLD re-enters the arena. (This continues a thought from Sarcoidosis Awareness Month-April 2017)
Each day there are moments of intimidation. Each day even the voice within us tells us to go back, sit quietly and let the world evolve, or unfold as it should. Nice words but with people who struggle each day with long term struggles the words become tedious at best. They ultimately become words of resignation and discouragement.
How many times have you been told let the professionals take care of that. You really don’t look sick. You don’t this or that. How many times do you feel like you are just a sack of bones getting in the way?
Ezekiel begins with a fascinating picture. The Lord’s hand literally picks him up and places him in a valley of dry bones. Think of it. Death and dying everywhere you look. Just get me out of here that is all Ezekiel wants. In one of my first preaching classes each student was to preach to the class. Other students were than to grade us. When all the grades were in one person gave me a huge F across the evaluation form. The instructor asked the student what this was all about. The student basically said why would anyone want to get involved in this kind of work. Church is about attractive people, blessed music, comfortable surroundings. The instructor asked more questions, then shared how he had gone through the dying process, the declaration his life would never amount to much. he said it took a different kind of BOLDNESS to stand especially when you were condemned to a wheel chair.
Bold is the word. Ezekiel found himself being challenged in brokenness to the intentions and desires of the Spirit of God. Stepping forward, knowing brokenness is real. Very simply, step forward. Being BOLD brings it’s own strength.
The Psalmist acknowledges the strength has a source. It arises out of the depths of despair, out of guilt to a freedom based again on the desires of God. All to often the illnesses of life are seen as the end purpose. When in reality there is a purpose in spirituality. Jesus makes reference to it in the death of his friend Lazarus. Why were his sisters dwelling on the death instead of asking how can our living be used to glorify God?
In my work I have had the sadness of being with many who wanted to just die. It was a place in life I knew only to well. One day I was with another person who had overdosed. I had arrived at their home to hear vomiting going on. When that was done. He said I can’t even do this right. I want it over. He went to bed. I told him I had to take him to the hospital. He said no. I than said I was going to lay next to him. If he was going to die the last voice he heard would be the voice of one who loved him. We laid for the longest time. I began telling him stories of good events in his life. He started to laugh. Three hours later we were laughing. He than said, okay I can go now. We went to the hospital.
There is more to life than just being a bag of bones off in some field somewhere. Jesus speaks of God being glorified. It took me a long time to understand glorifying God wasn’t about some massive ego trip by a deity no one could know. It took me a while to know I could be a part of the healing process and as I was helping to turn people to God I saw the change in lives, I saw people arise above the insignificance of dead bones to understand our future is about living, about melting hope into our joints, about standing when there was no strength, about breathing when we have no breath.
The music today brings a sense of peace to know there is dignity in life itself, there is dignity when we surrender to that which is greater than ourselves.
“Come Alive (Dry Bones)” featuring Lauren Daigle – Live from the CentricWorship Retreat
Lord today is the beginning of yet another time to concentrate on the changes about sarcoidosis. The image of the dry bones has been used in different ways. Today it is about us. There are times we want that healing. There are times we would just want everything over. Somewhere in the middle we pray you will give understanding and ultimately deliverance, healing and restoration. There are so many areas of our lives that have experienced a tearing apart. Why does this mess have to be so all prevasive? So many answers, but it still hurts. Now Lord gives us a boldness to look into the eyes of those we love, into the eyes of those we want to love and may we cross that bridge to credibility and commitment. In all things be glorified. I pray in your name, amen.