"MESSAGES IN A DREAM - Part Two" Ezekiel's Rabbits? By A.J. Rasmussen
". . . O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live." (Ezekiel 37:4b-5, ESV) Much has happened this past month which has tied together with a dream that began shortly after my arrest in 2012. Growing up, I had raised rabbits, to breed and sell, as well as show in 4-H. These rabbits were my pride and joy. I took very good care of them and in return, I made a decent amount of money as a child, which I always saved to buy gifts for my mom at Christmas. My rabbit days ended in my early teens, so it seemed strange to me that more than twenty years later, out of the blue, dreams of those same rabbits would enter my dreams. The dreams weren't pleasant though. I walked out to the south end of our home where my rabbits had a nice home that a neighbor man helped me build. To my surprise, I had apparently forgotten about them for some time. I had neglected them and they were mostly dead. Those who weren't, were not far behind. I hadn't fed or watered them in who knows how long. The ones 'dead' were flat and dried to the bottom of the cage. Some, still could move their eyes and look at me and I felt horrible. I would give them food and water, slowly, one by one, they'd look a little better. However, I'd neglect them again, according to future dreams. My mother as witness, (I shared these dreams with her) these dreams were recurring for a good two years. Then, out of the blue, as they had begun, they ceased. I was very thankful for the stoppage of these dreams, as you can imagine, they were very disturbing. How much more disturbing, for God to look upon us, only for Him, not a dream, to see us living as tho we were dead? Ezekiel speaks of God taking him to a valley full of dry bones, dead people, (self-translated) people full of sin. How humbling to think of God looking upon me through all my poor choices, thoughts and actions. Yet, He still promises, "I will never leave you nor forsake." (Deuteronomy 31:6; Joshua 1:5; Hebrews 3:5) Really Lord? But don't you know what I've done? How can I ever live again? ". . . I will cause breath (life) to enter you!" My brother, via my mom, just recently said he feels as tho I still haven't taken responsibility for my actions and blame others (based on a emotionally based letter I wrote to him). I took great offense to this, because I felt that over the past three years, God had brought me a great distance and that I'd taken full responsibility. A quote from a christian brother sparked a change in my thinking. "I'm a product of my past but not a prisoner of my past." "Next came a discussion in my college writing class. A discussion on "Class" (low, middle, upper). A handful of African-Americans in the class were stuck on the belief that they can't get a fair shake at life. They spoke as though they should be handed things or at least have equal opportunity to escape the poor or low class they were brought up in. They made numerous valid points, however for some reason I couldn't shake the thought, "They don't have to remain stuck in that trap", or as my christian brother so well stated, ". . . not be a prisoner of their past." They, just as easily as the next guy, if they so desire and put forth the effort, could elevate themselves. A lightbulb came on. I too, as my brother had stated, as stated in this brother's quote, and as these men in my class had stated of themselves, had lived as a prisoner of my past. Yes, things have happened, life has not always been peachy, but I am an adult today and have the choice to allow my past to be only a product, or live a life of death, stuck in the valley with all the other dry bones, imprisoned by my past. In this same time period, the dreams of my rabbits returned. This time, although they were in the same condition as when I first went to check on them in my previous dreams. I began to habitually feed and water them twice a day and look in on them in-between. I'd talk to them, love them once again even stringing a speaker out to them, so they wouldn't be lonely when I was gone. A little music to maybe cheer them up, put "breath back into them." Each dream, again recurring, my rabbit's health was further advanced. Those who had been 'dead', dried out, stuck to the cage bottom, were even coming back to complete health. Fur was growing back, Its shine returning. There was again light in their eyes, life in their movement. Once they had come back to full health, the dreams again ended. "I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh." (Ezekiel 36:26) "Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds. Put on the new self. . ." (Ephesians 4:22-24) A prayer of David's I share with you. "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not from Your presence, take not Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me, the joy of Your salvation." (Psalm 51-10-12) The remaining story of the valley of dry bones in summary, goes something like this. 'I prophesied as I was commanded, as I prophesied there was a noise, rattling and the bones came together, I looked and there were sinews on them and flesh and skin came upon them. I then prophesied as He had commanded me and the breath came into them, they lived! Stood upon their feet. He then said to me, this is our whole house. Our bones are dried up, hope is lost. I will raise you from your graves, put My spirit within you and you shall live!' (Summary of Ezekiel 37:7-14) Like the rabbits in my dream. Like the dry bones in Ezekiel. I was dead for so long. Even when I thought I was restored, I was still living as if imprisoned. We don't have to live imprisoned, we are Redeemed! "Christ redeemed us!" (Galations 3:13) My brother was right. To him, and all my family and friends. Most important, My Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, I appologize for all I have done, and not done, and commit this day to continue to allow the Lord to cleanse me, from the inside out. I refuse to live as a prisoner of my past any longer. No more dry bones and no more blocking the love of God from working within and through me. No more dying rabbits for this son of God!