Saturday, October 23, 2010

Only God knows

Through the Bible in 90 days: Day 62

Read: Ezekiel 36:1-47:12

Verse that stood out:
He asked me, "Son of man, can these bones live?" I said, "O Sovereign LORD, you alone know" Ezekiel 37:3

Every life has them – apparent dead ends. Days when doors shut and no proverbial window opens. When we find ourselves in an apparent dead end and someone asks us what comes next and we scratch our heads and wonder, “Who knows?” If they’re spiritual, they’ll baptize their answer a little “Only God knows.” Ever been there? At that place, where the next step isn’t only difficult to take imagine, it’s impossible to even imagine. After the doctor tells you that there’s nothing more he can do, where do you go from there? Only God knows. After the job falls through and the bank accounts bottom out and the creditors are lining up, what do you do next? Only God knows. After the funeral service is over and the guests have all gone home, what does tomorrow hold? Only God knows. After famines hit and children starve, and mothers ask, “where shall we get our next meal?” Only God knows. After peace talks fall apart and the bombs reign down again, where do we turn for peace and protection? Only God knows. After thousands are murdered at a dictator’s whim, where do we find away forward? Only God knows.

Only God knows can be statement of faith, if we are saying it in the sense that we really do believe that God knows. But it can also be simply a polite way of saying, I don’t know and I’m not sure anyone does, including God. It’s difficult to know which way Ezekiel meant it on that day the Lord took him by the hand in the middle of a valley of dry bones. The Bible doesn’t allow us to know the tone of his voice. As we know, there’s as much in how you say something as in what you say.

“Can these bones live?” God asked.

“O Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”

Faith or frustration? Depends on Ezekiel's tone of voice, which the Bible does not supply. Either way, the good news is that Ezekiel's answer is not what's most important. God really does know. He knows even death, itself, is no match for the very breath of God.

Are you facing a dead end today? Can the dry bones of your life get up and live again? You may not think so, but God knows - with his help, they can.

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