For just as rain and snow fall from heaven,
and do not return there without saturating the earth,
and making it germinate and sprout,
and providing seed to sow and food to eat,
so My word that comes from My mouth will not return to Me empty,
but it will accomplish what I please,
and will prosper in what I send it [to do]. (HCSB)
Just as rain and snow descend from the skies
and don’t go back until they’ve watered the earth,
doing their work of making things grow and blossom,
producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry,
so will the words that come out of My mouth not come back empty-handed.
They’ll do the work I sent them to do;
they’ll complete the assignment I gave them. (MSG)
—-God, in Isaiah 55:10-11
I love God’s word. It’s so surprising, isn’t it, the way it can grab our hearts and our emotions?
A few weeks ago, Cami and I were reading different things at the same time in the same room. The quiet was so loud, it felt weighty, like a heavy comforter on a cold winter morning. Cami and I like it quiet like that. It helps us both think.
She was reading a library book, and I was reading the daily entry in my One-Year Chronological Bible. I’d reached passages in Ezekiel that I hadn’t read in a long time. One particular passage took my breath away. I had to read it aloud.
“Cami, listen to this,” and I read aloud Ezekiel 37, about the valley of dry bones. (Go ahead. Read it aloud, too. You know you want to.)
1The LORD took hold of me, and I was carried away by the Spirit of the LORD to a valley filled with bones. 2He led me around among the old, dry ones that covered the valley floor. They were scattered everywhere across the ground. 3Then He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones become living people again?”
“O Sovereign LORD,” I replied, “You alone know the answer to that.”
4Then He said to me, “Speak to these bones and say, ‘Dry bones, listen to the word of the LORD! 5This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Look! I am going to breathe into you and make you live again! 6I will put flesh and muscles on you and cover you with skin. I will put breath into you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.’”
7So I spoke these words, just as He told me. Suddenly as I spoke, there was a rattling noise all across the valley. The bones of each body came together and attached themselves as they had been before. 8Then as I watched, muscles and flesh formed over the bones. Then skin formed to cover their bodies, but they still had no breath in them.
9Then He said to me, “Speak to the winds and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come, O breath, from the four winds! Breathe into these dead bodies so that they may live again.’”
10So I spoke as He commanded me, and the wind entered the bodies, and they began to breathe. They all came to life and stood up on their feet—a great army of them.
11Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones represent the people of Israel. They are saying, ‘We have become old, dry bones—all hope is gone.’ 12Now give them this message from the Sovereign LORD: O My people, I will open your graves of exile and cause you to rise again. Then I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13When this happens, O My people, you will know that I am the LORD. 14I will put My Spirit in you, and you will live and return home to your own land. Then you will know that I am the LORD. You will see that I have done everything just as I promised. I, the LORD, have spoken!”
I tell you, I had tears in my eyes. Reading God’s words aloud touched a deep emotional place that surprised me. “Why are you crying, Mom?” Cami asked.
“Because it’s just so powerful. Isn’t it?” I didn’t have weighty-enough words to express what I was feeling. Through the image of the dry bones coming to life, God was giving His people a word picture: an encouragement, a promise that all is not lost, that He is still working, still reviving and renewing, always. As I read His words aloud to my daughter, the promises He’s made to restore our family, to rescue us from the chaos hidden disabilities has wrought in our lives, to breathe life into us, to give us a new way of not just surviving, but thriving to His glory—the solidity of His promises touched my heart anew. He has done so much already in our family to bring us peace and stability. I felt like this word from Ezekiel was God saying, “Just you wait. I’m not done yet.”
A few days later, Cami, my diagnosed-with-dyslexia-and-disgraphia daughter, brought me the latest chapter in the book she’s been writing. I was surprised again.
Early the next morning, Crookedmouth awoke with a start. She thought she heard footsteps, and turned her head. That was when she realized something: a great whirling wall of sand surrounded them; nearby, a golden tomcat stood: the same cat who had given Crookedmouth her name.
She quickly stood up, and he beckoned to her. Crookedmouth followed him to what appeared to be a small valley, full of dry bones. “You have come farther than any cat from your world has ever come,” he said. “You have crossed the border of the worlds. Yet, you have not come to the Door.”
“What is that?” asked she.
“I am the Door.”
“But how can a cat be a door?” asked she.
“Tell me, Daughter of Alnath, can these bones come back to life?”
Then, something occured to her. “My Lord, only you know the answer to that.”
He then cried, “Arise! You shall return to earth. Arise and breathe!”
At his command, the bones rose, and muscles and flesh formed on them. Once more, they lived.
“I am the Door only through which you may enter the Kingdom of Never Ending Day,” he said. “Do you choose to go through?”
“I do,” said Crookedmouth.
She never remembered walking back, but a bit later, she woke again to find Dragonheart shaking her; they were becoming good friends.
–from Chapter 7 of The Call of Destiny, written by C.M. Dickerson, printed here with her permission
You know how God promised that His Word will accomplish what He sends it out to do?
I can’t wait to see what He means for this Word to do in our lives.
I’ll keep you posted.