Meet Me In The Valley
October 8, 2018
Verse for the Week: Ezekiel 37:3, He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “Sovereign LORD, you alone know.”
Have you ever asked God, “Why did you bring me here?”
It’s a loaded question, isn’t it? Perhaps you look around at the battlefield of your life and see the family issues standing tall at every turn. Or relationships that don’t seem to make sense. Or a job that takes more than you have to give at the moment.
Admittedly, this is a tough season for me. I’m definitely on the Struggle Bus—physically exhausted, emotionally taxed, and spiritually confused. So I asked God this very question, “Why did you bring me here”? Is there something I need to learn in this place of vulnerability?
I wanted Him to explain the unexplainable, or give a glimmer of light in this present darkness. This is what I heard in my heart, “Meet me in the valley.” Desperate for an answer, I didn’t walk, I ran to my Bible.
He took me to Ezekiel, chapter 37. This passage depicts a vision seen through the eyes of Ezekiel where God took the prophet to a valley full of dry bones. It’s an epic passage; one worth your time. It gives a birds-eye view of a covenant God, and the love He has for His people.
Ezekiel, a priest and a prophet, was on assignment; hand-picked and commissioned by God to engage in this vision. As a Hebrew from the tribe of Levi, Ezekiel was among the Jews that had been captured by Nebuchadnezzar and carried away to Babylon.
During the 70 years of exile, the Israelites had lost their way and succumbed to the poverty of captivity. Being divided and dispersed for a long period of time was devastating to the nation of Israel. In turn, they became a collective picture of desolation, hopeless and detached from the promises of God.
As it relates to battlefields and battle strategy, valley’s are by design a vulnerable position; hard to defend, let alone escape. Valley’s are often where soldiers meet with death. The imagery of the valley of dry bones signifies the effects of exile; God’s army slain on the battlefield, vulnerable and left for dead.
In the vision, God takes Ezekiel to the valley, and ask’s a question, “Can these bones live”? Although rhetorical, God was challenging Ezekiel to look beyond the natural to the providential. Ezekiel’s response, “Sovereign LORD, you alone know.”
Next, God commanded Ezekiel to prophesy three times. This pattern suggests alignment; an order of assembly. The first was a prophecy to the bones—take form. The second; a prophecy to the breath—give life. The third; a prophecy to His people—be restored. Stand up…Breathe in…Be free.
Form. Function. Freedom.
Hope. Life. Purpose.
Although Ezekiel saw a field of desolation; God saw a field of possibility. Where we see problems; God sees potential.
God’s objective was not just in reviving a people, but to restore them—a vast army positioned for purpose (verse 10). God has a plan. A master plan. One that not only stands the test of time but obliterates it.
Clearly, the natural order of life tends to ebb and flow. We experience life as a series of battles. A series of assignments. A series of disappointments that, like the Israelites, leave us hopeless and detached from the promises of God.
Similar to a stream that sculpts the landscape by wandering around rock beds, fallen trees, and changes in elevation, so too, our life is sculpted by how we maneuver the obstacles that delineate our path. For some, this trajectory of refinement is an exciting adventure. For others, this can be discouraging at best; debilitating at worst.
If you are here—parched, apathetic, dry—then God is inviting you to meet Him in the valley.
Take an honest look at your life—attitudes that form the structure of your thoughts; habits that emaciate your faith muscle; situations that kill your joy, steal your peace and destroy your freedom. Let God speak. Open your eyes to His vision. Respond to His directives.
We are on assignment. We are called to live an abundant life; to thrive, not just survive.
You are being invited to join the army of the living God. You are called to stand to your feet, breathe in new life, and return to the land He died to give you.
Lord God, make me ready for the next assignment. Open my eyes to see your hand as it moves through my life in power and purpose, restoring and reviving that which has died. And thank you for seeing potential where I see problems. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond:
Can you draw a personal parallel to this example? Has disappointment dried your bones? Perhaps you are currently experiencing a famine of the soul? An apathy of the heart. A poverty of purpose. Where did you surrender? What battlefield did you die on?
Christ died for us to live, and have life more abundant (John 10:10). Yet all too often, we find ourselves in the valley among the dry bones of hard situations. The grass withers. The crops fail. And fruit doesn’t grow on the trees.
It’s time to meet God in the valley; He wants to breathe new life into you.
Click this link to listen: “Come Alive (Dry Bones)” featuring Lauren Daigle
Hugs for a great week and remember, you are not alone. Be blessed, because you are on assignment. Stand up, breathe in, and be free.