Founder, Refined Family
Kerry Tittle is a mother of 10 children and an 20+-year homeschool veteran. She is the founder of Refined Family. Her desire is to honor Christ while comforting others with the comfort she has received from the Lord.
I have read a plethora of books on the subject. C.S. Lewis seems to have the most honest description of the struggle.
My journey in the valley has felt similar. I felt like an exile in a foreign land. I lost children, my husband, my home and now I felt like I was losing my God. I would wander aimlessly in the valley looking for Him. Begging for Him to find me and breathe life back into me.
Ezekiel was an exile in a foreign land. His heart was in his beloved homeland Jerusalem but physically he was in Babylon. He was one of the captives taken by Babylonian soldiers on one of their several sacks on Jerusalem. He longed for his Jerusalem. It was where he had grown up but more importantly, it was where God was. It was where the Temple was.
However, the temple had been destroyed also. God wasn’t there. Hope was gone.
There is nothing that produces despondency in a believer as much as the thought of being separated from God. Sometimes in the darkest valleys we are tempted to give in to despair because we are certain that God has forsaken us. Even when we are faced with the Truth of His Word that He will never leave us or forsake us.
But God came to Ezekiel and gave him a vision. He brought him also to a valley, but this was a valley of bones. Personally, I can’t think of a scene that screams finality more than this.
Scattered bones. Dry and bleached by the sun. Hopeless.
God asked Ezekiel if these bones could live. I can only imagine Ezekiel looking at the scattered bones that were strewn by wild animals and broken down over time and weather. No possibility of life
But Ezekiel had walked with God for some time and gave the correct answer. “Oh, Lord God you know.”
So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.
Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’ Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.”
The very God who breathed life into creation breathed life into these bones…..can, and will, bring life into you again.
Friend, if you find yourself in a dark valley wondering where God is, please consider this: Between the time the Word of God prophesied to the time the bones rattled and began to have sinew upon them may have taken time. Notice God didn’t breathe life into them until they were in place and ready.
God hasn’t left you. Your life hasn’t been snuffed out. The Spirit of God brings renewal and will resuscitate.
Hold on to that last sentence. “Then you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.” Cling to hope. It will return. You are not abandoned.