Thoughts On Valleys
You know that old Jars of Clay song that says,
"I will sing of your mercies that leads me through valleys of sorrow, to rivers of joy"
Maybe you can remember listening to it on your christian radio station between Steven Curtis Chapman and Michael W. Smith. It's called the Valley Song, and it popped into my head when my dad and I went to Kolob Canyon (ok.. so I know this is a canyon, but canyons are just realllllly big valleys)
Usually when I think of valleys the instant picture my mind gravitates to is dark and creepy. The bible uses valleys a lot when describing wars. We all know Psalm 23 when it talks about walking through the valley of the shadow of death. Even Jars of Clay describes them as sorrowful.
I was captivated by the contrasts of what I pictured and what we saw in Kolob. Instead being dark and creepy, what I looked at was vibrant and full of color. My eyes didn't stay in the darkest part of the valley, they automatically were drawn up. I wanted to take in and remember the whole picture, not just the narrow part.
While I obsessed over valleys, I read a Sermon by Louie Giglio on Ezekiel 37, the valley of dry bones. As Ezekiel looks down at the valley of lifeless bones God asks him if these bones can live. I know the end of the story, so of course my response is duh.
What if I didn't know the end of the story though, and what if I was Ezekiel looking at dry bones, would I still respond duh? My life looks a little like a dry bone valley right now, except I can't read ahead to the end of the story. When God asks me if the bones I'm staring at can have life again, I'm not so quick to say duh.
What Ekekiel says though is, "Sovereign Lord, you alone know" (Ek. 37:3). Louie compares the valley of dry bones with a verse in Ephesians, "To Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can think or imagine..." (Eph. 3:20) and says that if Ezekiel would have responded any other way, he wouldn't have been acknowledging that we worship a God of immeasurably more, that nothing is out of his touch to breathe life into.
I think that's why the canyons valleys at Kolob weren't dark or scary, but instead captivatingly beautiful. God is a God of immeasurably more, and even in my deepest valley he is more than capable to breathe life into the dry bones I'm staring at.
He can make a valley look beautiful.
He draws my eyes upward.
He let's me see more than the narrow path in front of me.
His mercies lead me from valley's of sorrow, to rivers of joy.
Have you ever been in a valley? What gave you the grace to trust even if you can't skip to the part where bones come to life?