"The hand of the Lord was upon me, and He brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and sat me down in the middle of the valley; and it was full of bones. He caused me to pass among them round about, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley; and lo, they were very dry." Ezekiel 37:1-2
So here you stand, in the middle of the valley looking around at a place that is dead and hopeless. The smell startles you, a familiar stench, and yet foreign. Your memory jogs and suddenly you realize you have been here before. It has been a long time, so many things have changed, and yet, the valley is so very much the same.
Your head is hanging low as you try to recall how you got here. One wrong turn there, not listening close enough here; on and on you go for what seems like several minutes as you trace the steps to this very point. Every mistake you have made is blazing in your ears, you cannot see past the regret of doing it wrong; and yet, in the midst of the chaos going on in your mind, you hear His voice. It is a calm voice, calling you gently back, speaking words of Life and Truth, reminding you that you are His and He is here; even in the valley.
Today I read Ezekiel 37 verse one and had a sudden jolt in my spirit. In Ezekiel's vision, he clearly says The hand of the Lord was on him, and HE (the Spirit of the Lord) brought him down into the valley. What? God brought him down into this valley? WOAH!!! You mean, it wasn't because of the wrong turns, the misplaced steps, the huge mistakes he made? It was GOD?? And wait a minute...God brought Ezekiel down to the valley to use him? To empower him to speak life and breath into dry bones? The chapter goes onto explain the vision in greater detail, that God was preparing Ezekiel to go speak that same LIFE into the people of Israel.
God has us right where we are for a purpose. It may seem like a valley to us, it may have all the familiar sights and smells of a place of darkness, but today let me challenge you as I have been challenged; to change the lens that we look through. Instead of being blinded by the darkness, choose to see that glimmer of light. Instead of being sucked into the despair, reach for the joy. Instead of giving in to the death, stand up and fight for Life. Allow your perspective to be filtered through the eyes of Jesus. Allow his grace to sustain you as you walk, and his mercy to catch you when you fall. His plan for your life, for the lives of the ones you love, is nothing short of amazing. Be the agent of hope, and speak LIFE INTO DRY BONES!