Bringing Life to the Valley of Dead Bones
“The Spirit of the Lord set me down in the middle of the valley and it was filled with bones. And He led me around them and they were very dry. And He said to me, ‘Son of Man, can these bones live?’ And I answered, ‘O Lord God, you know.’ Then He said to me, ‘Prophesy over these bones and say to them, O dry bones, hear the Word of the Lord.’” Ezekeiel 37:1-4
Pastor Bruce asked me what Lao people would hear in the story of “The Valley of the Dry Bones.” I can only tell my story.
Well, I see a couple of things in Ezekiel 37. First, every time I come across these verses, I remind myself that I use to be one of those bones. Long before I came to Christ my spirit was completely gone. In other words, dead.
This big defeated army of bones in Ezekiel had fought for someone but who knows who and what they fought for. When I was 14 in Laos, I was forced to fight in the mountains with many other boys my age. But we didn’t know what or why. Some of those boys are bones still in those mountains. That could have been me. I think about that.
But, even though I lived, I was still one of those bones in Ezekiel.
“Then the Spirit said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath; Prophesy O son of man and say to the breath, thus says the Lord God: come from the four winds, O breath on these slain that they may live.’ So I prophesied as He commanded and the breath came into them and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.” (Ezekiel 37:9-10)
Second, I find it amazing what God can do with someone like myself who is completely lost, long gone, worthless, helpless. Someone like me — he takes that someone and makes them worthy to serve God and serve others as well. I couldn’t know that when I was a dry bone.
I couldn’t know how to be in God’s army. He is the one and only God worth dying for.
God, please say the same thing to someone else who is a dead bone that you said to me.
I hope that my words will help someone else know what you can do.
Ketkeo (Terry) Pathoumthong was born in Laos. He works for the railroad, is married to Samantha, his wife of 31 years and they have three adult daughters. He leads the Lao Fellowship at Hope Church.