The Valley of Dry Bones
I will put my Spirit within you and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken and done it,” declares the Lord. ~ Ezekiel 37:14
I was discouraged. Weary. Beat up. And I was the one responsible. I had given others permission to disrupt my peace and snatch my joy. I had not stood firm on the promises of God; I allowed my foundation to be shaken. I had listened to the shouts of lies, instead of the whispers of Truth.
It started long ago with my perceptions, based on decades of comparing myself to others, and concluding I was not enough. Thankfully, the Lord did an amazing work in my life. I stopped comparing myself to others. I stopped believing the enemy’s lie. Finally, I had peace!
Then the evil one repackaged the perception lie and threw it back at me. I became fearful of others’ perception of me; specifically that they would think I was not enough. It was timed perfectly, just as I transitioned from a comfortable and familiar decades’ old career, into a new job. Although I knew without a doubt the job was the will of God, it did not stop my overwhelming fears.
The actions of others confirmed and escalated my fears. I encountered mean spiritedness and just plain ugliness. I was caught off guard by spiteful, deliberate words meant to undermine my credibility. I faced harsh, unexplained silence. My consuming fear of making mistakes caused me to make mistakes. Even the smallest mistake was pointed out loudly and publicly. I was counseled, for the first time in my career, for my job performance. I was devastated. I felt my character and reputation were being destroyed. Daily, I prayed for a way out.
This went on for years. Each morning, I would seek encouragement in the Bible. I clung to Scripture promises. I entered the workday hopeful the day would be different, hopeful that the Lord would move me. Each day, I encountered more of the same. One day, I was done. I had no fight left in me. I literally fell to my knees, emotionally drained and physically worn-out.
Then I read Ezekiel 37. I recognized I was in a valley of dry bones, broken and lifeless. I begged the Lord to breathe life, pour out His spirit on me, and help me through the valley. I confess what I really wanted to do was get up and run out of the valley without looking back. Yet God revealed that on my knees was exactly where I need to be.
Not on my knees victimized, but on my knees victorious!
On my knees, surrendered: for He will pour out His Spirit on my dry, brittle bones and battered soul.
On my knees, strengthened: I am not to walk in my own power, strength or might, but His.
On my knees, sufficient: I do not need to worry about what anyone thinks of me, for He calls me beloved and worthy.
On my knees, seeking: He will lead me in my journey, both in the valley and on the mountaintop.
So I changed the way I prayed. While I still pray for darkness to be brought to light, I ceased praying for escape. I now pray for opportunities to use my talents, skills and abilities for His glory and purpose, wherever it may be. I pray for the opportunity to serve and encourage, because when I do my heart is satisfied. I pray for the fullness of God’s joy, peace and love. I ask for Him to teach me to believe His promises and live like I believe them. I ask for Him to amaze me.
And He does!