ODJ: Hope Awakening

June 10, 2016 

READ: Ezekiel 37:1-28 

[God] asked me, “Son of man, can these bones become living people again?” (v.3).

In her blog, Gayla wrote about rescuing a cactus from the rubbish bins of a block of flats in her neighbourhood. She found a single stem that showed some signs of life. With some pruning, the seemingly dead plant blossomed once again and is now thriving. She shared the details of the cactus transformation in order to help those who think that their cacti are beyond hope.

When God asked whether the dry bones in the valley could live again, Ezekiel was caught off guard. It certainly didn’t look like they could be part of living, breathing human beings again. So the prophet responded with the only truth he could wrap his mind around. “O Sovereign Lord,” [he] replied, “you alone know the answer to that” (Ezekiel 37:3).

In the midst of their captivity, God’s people likely felt that they would never get out of the hole their sin had dug. Babylon seemed unconquerable and hope was gone. And so God sent a word through Ezekiel, likening Israel to the dry bones in the valley. Although they believed that hope was lost, God would pour out His Spirit on them and bring deliverance from captivity. Instead of being cut off, they would stand again as a strong and great army—just as the dry bones did (vv.10-14).

Like Israel and the previous owners of Gayla’s cactus, we can lose sight of hope in the midst of challenging or difficult situations. But since nothing is impossible with God, it means that there’s always hope. No matter where you are today, what hurt or disappointment you’re dealing with, hear these words that God shared with ancient Israel: “O my people, you will know that I am the Lord. I will put my Spirit in you, and you will live again” (vv.13-14).

Hope and life spring from God!

— Remi Oyedele

365-day plan: Luke 2:1-20

Read Romans 5:2-5 to see what Paul says about the source of our hope. 
Do you tend to see the glass as half empty or half full? What gives you hope in this life? How does knowing the Source of life fill your heart with hope today?