At a young age I felt like I was called into ministry. I began preparing and practicing, but honestly I was afraid of it. It was a dream that was in front of me, but the older I got, the further into the future this dream seemed to go. Then in a single day, the dream died. I went through a divorce that couldn’t be avoided. The denomination I was a part of at the time had a rule back then that you couldn’t be a minister if you were divorced. I was devastated by both the divorce and the fact that I could never be in ministry. All my life had been pointing to the dream of ministry and it was gone. Not only was I having to start life over, I was lost without a dream to guide me. That is until a friend told me,”Do you really think that man can negate God’s calling?”
In Ezekiel 37, God showed Ezekiel a valley of very dry bones. I imagine it was quite a sight to see. Dead people’s bones were scattered everywhere and there were none connected together I’m sure. As God showed him all these bones, He asked him a question in verse 3. “Son of man, can these bones become living people again?” (NLT) You and i both know that humanly it impossible for them to be brought back to life, but that’s not how Ezekiel answered. Instead of stating the obvious, he replied, “O Sovereign Lord, you alone know the answer to that.” At that answer, God told him to speak to those bones and prophesy to them to come alive and live again. Just like that the bones all came together and were covered with flesh. Then he was told to speak and prophesy the breath of life back into them and they became a living army.
You may be where I was once in feeling like your calling or the dream God gave you is dead and in the past. It doesn’t matter whether it’s anything you’ve done, someone has done to you or if it’s from not going after it in time. Man, including yourself, cannot take away God’s promises, nor His plan for your life. You may be looking at a valley of the dead bones of your dreams today, but God can make them live again. Speak to your dream. Speak life into it. If God has placed it in you, it will happen no matter what things look like today. Be like Ezekiel when you’re looking at what seems dead. Don’t pronounce that it can’t live again. Let God answer that question and watch Him begin to bring the pieces back together again.
Photo by Travis Grossen on Unsplash
Blueprints fascinate me. When I see a set rolled out, I have to look through them. I don’t know how to read them, but I still flip through as though I do. One person will look at them and see where the plumbing goes. Another will see how much concrete is needed for the foundation. Another will see where the electrical lines need to be run. To the rest of us, what looks like lines on a page actually give exact detail of how to build a structure. Whether you understand them or not, they have the ability to make a concept into a reality.
God has blueprints for your life. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you.” Your life is not a series of random events caused by karma. It has been carefully planned out by God. Most of the time, we don’t understand the plans He has for us. We look at our lives and wonder what He’s doing or how something tragic could be part of it. The different events in our lives, both good and bad, shape us into who He created us to be. It’s normal for us to question what we don’t understand.
In the times I find myself questioning God, I’m reminded that He is the one who drew up the blueprints of my life. He alone understands them fully. When I look at them, I see two dimensional lines on a page, but He sees it in three dimensions. He sees how it’s all fits together. He understands what needs to happen in my life to connect it all together. He knows what needs to happen in order to take a line off a page and to bring it into reality. He also knows how to readjust when our decisions conflict with His plan.
I’ve often asked if God planned out for the bad things that have happened in my life. I’ve come to believe He didn’t plan them, but He planned for them. The bad things that have happened were mostly a result of my poor decisions and not of His doing. He allowed me to face the consequences of my choices, but He never gave up on His plan for me. He found a way to engineer my struggles, faults and poor decisions into the person He wants me to become. He knows how to take the things that disqualify us from being His kids and to use them to qualify us to spread His love.
God’s blueprints also include tragedies and losses that are not a result of our decisions. We may never know why those things happen in our lives, but we can trust that He has a plan, He knows what He’s doing and that He can use those events to fortify our foundation. When I don’t understand why, I can trust Him still. His ways are higher than mine. His understanding of the plans He has for me are beyond anything I can imagine. When I’ve looked back at my life, I’ve seen His handiwork. I’ve seen how He has used tragedies and consequences to fulfill His plans. He’s got a proven track record that helps me trust Him even when I don’t understand.