7So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone.

Ezekiel 37:7 NIV

If you are like me, you wake up every Sunday morning expecting something to happen.

I do not wake up in the morning with low expectations.

I wake up believing that something is going to happen. I expect for God to move. I anticipate a brighter tomorrow. I believe the impossible!

However, many of us live our lives not expecting God to show up. We live lives not expecting God to bless us beyond measure.

One of my relatives recently told me that she is tired of hanging around folk who live lives of low expectation. Tired of folk who are always complaining about this, always complaining about that. Tired of folk who are pessimistic versus optimistic.

I don’t know about you, but God has been too good to me. He has blessed me when I didn’t deserve it. And God keeps reminding me that as long as I am living that I should expect great things will continue to happen in my life.

In the Book of Ezekiel, the prophet, like many of us, needed to know that God has the power to make something happen — even make dry bones live again!

Yes, we learn that the Lord placed Ezekiel not in a beautiful and thriving place. But rather God placed Ezekiel in the valley of dry bones.

I’m sure the valley was not on Ezekiel’s itinerary. It was not on his top five places to visit. The valley was not a popular spot to hangout.

Just the opposite.

This valley was a place of death and destruction. This valley was a reminder of Israel’s loss to the Babylonians. This valley was a reminder of what Israel used to be.

This valley was a reminder of Israel’s past. This valley was a reminder of what once was.

Nevertheless, what I love about this Chapter 37 is that the Lord does not ask Ezekiel “can” He place Ezekiel in the valley of dry bones, but rather the Lord just does it without seeking Ezekiel’s approval.

The first lesson that you and I must understand is that God does not need our approval before He makes a move. We want God to talk it over with us before He opens the door.

But God does not have to ask for our permission...God can just do it. God does not have to receive our nod of approval…God can just move. God does not have to wait on us before He proceeds…God can exercise His sovereign prerogative!

I’m sure Ezekiel wishes that he could avoid life’s valley. I’m sure he wishes that this moment could pass from him.

Nonetheless, Ezekiel had to endure it. Ezekiel had to learn that in order to fix his circumstance, he first had to face it.

So many of us want God to move in our lives, but we are pleading with God to spare us the dry bones in our lives.

Yes, we want to have mountain-top experiences in our lives, but we don’t want to go through the valley. We want the victory, but not the struggle. We want the crown, but not the cross.

We want the joy, but not the pain. We want the praise, but not the complaints. We want the applause, but not the boos.

We want the recognition, but not the hatred. We want the celebration, but not the contempt. We want the glory, but not the crucifixion!

But God reminds in Ezekiel that if we want something to happen in our lives, then we must first face it before we can fix it.

The final lesson we learn in Ezekiel 37 is that in order for something to happen in our lives we must catch God’s vision.

Ezekiel, like many of us, was focusing on the “dryness” of the bones, versus what God could do with the bones. He was focused on the current state of things, not God’s possibilities.

But just when it seems like all hope was lost for Ezekiel, that’s when God steps in and asks Ezekiel a profound question: “O Mortal, can these bones live?”

Yes, God is not concentered about the history of these bones or whose bones they are, but rather can these bones live?

God’s question is really a call to action—Yes, these bones can live!

Beloved, God has great plans for your future. But you must believe and begin to take action knowing that your “dry bones” can live again!

As always, keep the faith!

The opinions expressed in this commentary are his. View more opinions on phillytrib.com.

Kevin R. Johnson, Ed.D. is a frequent columnist and the lead pastor of Dare to Imagine Church, 6610 Anderson St., Philadelphia, PA. Follow him on Twitter @drkrj.

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