Ezekiel 37:1-3 (CEB)

1 The LORD’s power overcame me, and while I was in the LORD’s spirit, he led me out and set me down in the middle of a certain valley. It was full of bones. 2 He led me through them all around, and I saw that there were a great many of them on the valley floor, and they were very dry. 3 He asked me, “Human one, can these bones live again?” I said, “LORD God, only you know.”


Did you happen to see the 20,000 black, empty chairs, set up on the Ellipse near the White House, on October 5, 2020? Families of COVID-19 victims and survivors created this display as a memorial in honor of National COVID-19 Remembrance. Each chair represents 10 people, or the 200,000 who had died by September 22, 2020. The chairs stood in silent witness to a loss of such large numbers that we can’t understand it with our minds, only with our eyes. It’s the equivalent of all the people in Medford, Medford Lakes, Evesham, Mount Laurel, Voorhees, Pemberton, Moorestown, and Lumberton dying in the span of a few months. 

When I saw the empty chairs representing our COVID-19 dead, it reminded me of Ezekiel gazing out at the dried bones of his people, long dead, laying in the valley. God asks us, “Human one, can these bones live again?” As children of God, we answer like Ezekiel, “Lord God, only you know.”

We can only imagine what Ezekiel felt as he looked out at the valley covered in bones. What God asked him to believe must have seemed impossible. Sometimes in the face of great loss, faith seems impossible. We feel abandoned and devastated, or angry to the point where we can’t pray.

Know that whatever you are experiencing, God loves you, Jesus died for you, and the Holy Spirit is at work within to transform you.

The situation may seem impossible for humans, but nothing is impossible for God. We have come to that place in our faith where we can only rely on God and not ourselves. Our hope is in God. Our resurrection is in Jesus. God is our all in all, our hope when we feel hopeless. Our God is the God of the impossible.

By Jeneene Reduker

For Pondering & Prayer

Where in your life are there areas that have become like dried bones in need of transformation and resurrection? Where in your life do you need to invite God to be at work in a situation that seems impossible for you?

Prayer: God of the Impossible, you have shown us through Jesus that nothing is impossible for you. We are experiencing loss and devastation in our lives and in our world. Lord God, only you know how you will bring love and transformation in the midst of our sorrow to raise us to new life. Our hope is in you, Lord. Amen.