Can God Help Me When It Looks Impossible?
One of the creepiest stories in the Bible is my favorite.
In Ezekiel 37, the prophet Ezekiel is given a vision. It starts with a valley full of dry bones, and a question from God, “Son of man, can these bones live?” Ezekiel knows something of God’s power, so he answers with “O Lord GOD, You know.” God tells Ezekiel to prophecy life to the bones, and they begin gathering together, gaining sinews and flesh and skin, and finally life is breathed into them. The prophecy is a message to the nation of Israel, and to spiritual Israel, the church. But it is also a message to all of us as individuals.
You see, the bones were dry and scattered. Not only had death happened, but complete decay. There was no legacy honored here, and there were no monuments or burials. It looks like complete ruin. The picture is bleak and desperate.
But God still turned it around.
And the reason I love this story is because it shows (in a somewhat grotesque way) that there is nowhere my life can go, or your life can go, where God can’t turn it all around. There is no darkness from which we cannot be rescued. There is no sinner who cannot find life in Christ.
It reminds me of the apostle Simon Peter in Luke 5. He, a professional fisherman, had fished all night and caught nothing. It had to be exhausting and frustrating. And Jesus, after speaking to the people, told him to launch again and let down the nets. Simon says, in verse 5, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.”
In other words, I’m coming up empty (in this case literally, with the empty nets) but if You, Jesus, tell me to keep at it, I will. And he caught so many fish that the nets were breaking, the fish filled the boats, and they started sinking.
To me, these two passages of the Bible are very much the same story. Life can drain us. I get discouraged, I get stressed, and I get despondent. However, I keep returning to these examples. Sometimes it looks like there isn’t any hope on the horizon. Sometimes it looks impossible for there to be any good in the world. Sometimes we feel empty, or forgotten. Yet still God is working, and anything can happen.
Mark 10:27 – But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”