Are You in the Valley of Dry Bones?

branchbleachedSometimes we can feel like we are in a spiritual desert.

God feels so far away.

Winter’s sunshine can be scarce, and your soul may feel as gray as the day. When the temperatures tease with thoughts of spring, winter comes slamming back with cold winds that rattle empty branches and dry leaves.tree branchesDry Leaves

Sarah Young says that feelings can get confused with reality (Jesus Calling, Sept. 10). The problem is that our feelings easily become our reality.

The Israelites said, “Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off” (Ezekiel 37:11).

Hope is gone. 

Is there anymore desolate landscape than one without hope?

God created such  a landscape — a valley of dry bones, and set Ezekiel right in the middle of it. Then he told him to prophesy and tell the bones to come to life. Ezekiel did as the Lord told him, and the bones were connected, tendons and flesh appeared and skin covered the bones. But there was no breath in them.

God told Ezekiel to say “This is what the Lord Yahweh says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live” (Ez. 37:9). When he followed God’s command, a vast army stood before him.

God’s promises throughout Scripture should give us comfort and reassurance, but when you’re in a valley of dry bones, you can’t see God. But here is promise to give us hope: “No matter what I may lose in this life, I can never lose my relationship with God or His Son” (Jesus Calling, Sept. 10).

Where is that promise? Here’s one of them:

Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed,

yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken

nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
says the Lord, who has compassion on you. (Isaiah 54:10)

Here’s another:  I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go . . .” Gen. 28:15.

So how do you get out of the valley? I don’t have a magic answer. I’ll give you some ideas, but I will tell you that sometimes you have to just do the hard work when you don’t feel like it.

Remember what God said to Ezekiel? Come breath from the four winds, breathe.

  1. Take deep breaths.
  2. Prepare your body for prayer with deep breathing.
  3. Smile. Smile at your dry bones.
  4. Then use this prayer from Song of the Seed:

Come breath, Bring transformation.

Wrap me in mystery and instill in me a yearning for the unknown. Teach me to surrender.

Startle me with the beauty of glorious sunsets, and give me a poet’s heart.     (Wiederkehr, p.39)

I can’t promise you that this will work the first time or the second time. But I know that repeating it during the day or for several days helps.

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
    and in his word I put my hope.   Psalm 130:5

There it is again — hope. Grab hold to the thought that waiting for the Lord is part of that hope.

HE DOES NOT LEAVE US. Remember, it is our feeling that He left, but that is not reality.

Sunset

May your day be blessed with joy from knowing that God Is With You at all times. Look for joys today. Write them down and be blessed.

JoyMartell

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