Abandoned

Kerry Tittle

Kerry Tittle

Founder, Refined Family

Kerry Tittle is a mother of 9 children and an 18-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. 

Romans 8:38-39

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
As I am desperately trying to crawl to the edge of this chasm that separates me from God, Romans 8:38 echoes in the corners of my mind. But when you are in the pervasive throes of grief there is an overwhelming sense of abandonment.

I have read a plethora of books on the subject. C.S. Lewis seems to have the most honest description of the struggle.

 

… Meanwhile, where is God? This is one of the most disquieting symptoms. When you are happy, so happy that you have no sense of needing Him, so happy that you are tempted to feel His claims upon you as an interruption, if you remember yourself and turn to Him with gratitude and praise, you will be — or so it feels — welcomed with open arms. But go to Him when your need is desperate, when all other help is vain, and what do you find? A door slammed in your face, and a sound of bolting and double bolting on the inside. After that, silence. You may as well turn away. The longer you wait, the more emphatic the silence will become. There are no lights in the windows. It might be an empty house. Was it ever inhabited? It seemed so once. And that seeming was as strong as this. What can this mean? Why is He so present a commander in our time of prosperity and so very absent a help in time of trouble? C. S. Lewis

A Grief Observed

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.”

 

Ezekiel 37:1-14

The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry. And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, 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. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”

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.”

As I pondered this story, a thought struck me. The bones represented idolatrous Israel who turned their back on God. They were cut off! Those bones had been in the valley for some time. If they could speak they may have declared that God had left and abandoned them because there certainly was no possible way life could ever be part of them again. If God would bring life back to a rebellious generation who wasn’t seeking Him, how much more would He restore a life who is desperately searching?

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.

 

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