It’s January 30th, 2022. Many are asking, “what will be different about this year?”. We will be the spectators of another troubled, fearful, anxious ridden and uncertain world again? Will our hearts be troubled by the cares of this collapsing world for the third year in a row. How many more relationships will be broken? How much more sickness and disease must we endure? How many more financial losses must we suffer again? How much longer must we stay in this valley? Many feel they cannot make it through another year of uncertainty let alone another day. I’m here to tell you that if you put your hope in the right place, you WILL make it! You will survive, NO MATTER WHAT COMES! There is a way, I promise.
Have you ever been in a valley? You know, your hiking in the mountains and you come to a low place at the bottom of the hills. Perhaps there’s a beautiful babbling brook, or some beautiful rocks that are displaying the signs of extreme weather with temperatures varying from below zero to above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. There could even be remnants of passers by above the valley on the mountains edge; a key, a note, an old coffee cup. Many people prefer the view from the top, they don’t like to go down into the valley, however, it’s the valleys that we learn our greatest strength & win our biggest victories.
I remember as a kid hiking up the escarpment in my city and following a path to a part known as “The Devils Punch Bowl”, about 108 feet deep. What’s ironic is a 10 meter high cross sits right above it. (Picture above). It was a symbol built by William Sinclair to bring “light” to the community. It’s ironic to me that at night the bottom of the punch bowl remains dark and the mountain top remains bright. Isn’t that just like life. The valleys can seem to dark, so alone, so uncertain of what may happen. I know that there were times on my hikes as a child I would feel very small inside the devils punch bowl. My mind would start playing games on me and I would get scared, what if there is a wild animal down here?, what if there is a perpetrator? What if the rocks begin to collapse? What if?….before I knew it I would be hightailing it out of there. You see, the valleys are not often the best place to be. They can be dry, lifeless and lonely, even scary. We can’t see what’s above from us. We can only see the top of the mountain, but nothing else exists. The valleys of life are often just like that-stopped to call my mom at this point in my blog.
This is my Valley
It’s not easy writing this right now. It’s now Tuesday, February 8th and from that last sentence above on January 30th, my life has changed again, in the most painful way. I had no idea when I took a break from writing this blog to call my mom last Sunday that I would never speak to her again. I feel I needed to finish this tonight to encourage someone else.
I cry as I write this because it’s all so fresh and so painful YET I can’t help but be amazed by Gods grace and mercy even this soon. I have mourned a lot already this past week and I know there is much more to come and I’m ok with that. THIS VALLEY will continue to lead me to the mountain top eventually.
Keep looking up!
Many of us are like the dry bones right now. Maybe it’s a relationship, a financial burden, a sickness or disease or a loss of someone so near and dear to your heart like my momma. Well, I am here to tell you the main point of my original blog, SPEAK TO YOUR DRY BONES and demand them to LIVE AGAIN! Some of us feel as if we are dying in our valleys. We feel so tired and exhausted and just want someone or something to quench our thirst. Well my friend, God is the thirst quencher in your valley. He wants to comfort you during your valleys and He wants you to know He is walking right beside you, He has never left. He sees your pain, your heart ache, your loss of hope and your exhaustion and He wants to tell you that the mountain top is not far. In fact, it’s very near. It’s actually right in front of you but all the distractions have stopped you from seeing it. Hold on! God, himself is right here, right now, in this moment ready to SPEAK LIFE to your dry bones. He’s never left you. There is only one way out of the valley, up and out. There are no shortcuts my friend, and some valleys are gonna be colder than others, darker than others, and longer than others. But God is with you all the way.
It’s time to LIVE again despite the suffering and struggles you face. We can’t wait till their gone. It’s time stand up and continue to worship God even in the pain. It’s way to easy to worship on the mountain top but what I’ve learned this past year and especially this past week, there is something incredibly amazing about worshipping God in our absolute suffering. Raise your heart, raise your hands, lift your head and look up! The mountain top is in the near distance and your victory in this valley awaits you!
Worship Song Even When It Hurts
Hope in the Valley
This imagery of the “dry bones” is used by Ezekiel as a restorative principle to describe the Babylonian exiles and the Jewish race during his time. Ezekiel’s vision and prophecy was to bring back hope to the people. The amazing thing is that the same God that gave Ezekiel that vision and prophecy for the people of Israel is the same God today. There is a hope that was to be realised on the basis of Yahweh’s (God) covenant fidelity and his mercy and compassion for the people. RISE!