Valley to Sanctuary

there has been
a running thread
of “valleys”
in my writing
and reading
and listening
that i have only just
identified today
so here are my musings
on valleys

the valley: writing

the valley
is the place to be
for ferilisation
for flourishing

see when it rains
valleys are the catchment
that’s where the overflow goes

the valley stores life
living water, fresh soil, new blooms
the valley brings life
and gives life

the animals
come to her
the water
calls to them

for they know that
in times of thirst
in seasons of drought
in valleys of despair

we need
to come to
the waters
to the place
where we
can dwell
and sink
that our souls
may be satisfied
by living water

we need
the valley
to remind us
that our sustenance is
not in the soil
not in the summit
not in dust nor dirt
not in hill nor height

b u t
in living water 

for there in the valley
is a peculiar kind of
abundance of lovely

an abundance of life
an abundance of grace
an abundance of living water

for in the valley
we find a picture of a storehouse
as the waters swell
to create a well

there is life
r i s i n g
the spring
o v e r f l o w i n g
living water
p o u r i n g
f l o u r i s h i n g

as new life blooms
in the barren places

i see:
the valley of vision
the valley of position
the valley of provision

see the valley prepares us
to grow, to give
as we stoop low
and learn to sow

as i walk in that valley
the catchment catches me
in the beauty of the valley

the valley: listening

this morning i listened to:
the WHOA that’s good podcast
by sadie robertson-huff
with tauren wells as a guest

tauren wells
is the singer behind
“hills and valleys”

on the podcast
he gave some insight
into the context
for this song
and his reflections
on valleys:

“there are things that grow in valleys
that do not grow on mountaintops.

God actually does some of His best work
in our darkest places
He’s with us
in the dark places, growing beautiful things”

tauren alludes to the paradoxical beauty of the scriptures
where Jesus is said to be high and above all
while He is also said to be the lily of the valley 

“God is not just the God of the mountaintops,
and the hills, and the successes, and the triumphs;
He is the God of our struggles, our disappointments, our fractured places.
He can be trusted because he is with us in and through it.” 

the valleys: reading

from the valley to the sanctuary
{ ezekial 37 }

i was reading this passage every day
for a couple weeks last year
during a season of spiritual drought
and every time i saw something new

ezekial is taken into a valley of bones
then God asks him if the bones can live
ezekial deflects this question back to god

so God commands ezekial to prophesy
to the dry bones {1}
that breath may enter them
a n d
the bones came together!!
b u t
there was no life in them

so God commands ezekial to prophesy
to the breath {2}
that it may come from the winds
and breathe into the slain
a n d
breath entered the bones!!
so the bones came together
and they came to life
and they stood into an army
b u t
there was no hope in them

so God commands ezekial to prophesy
to the people {3}
that they would rise up from their graves
those dark places of hopelessness
that God may put his spirit in them
so they may live
a n d
{ much later }
His Spirit comes!!
through the line of his servant david
as foretold in this scripture
our risen Hope

the prophets did not prophesy in vain
God fulfils his promises
we have a grave that is not only emptied but defeated
and a God who gives us his resurrection power
who makes His dwelling place among us
who takes us from the valley to the sanctuary
and who sends us His Spirit that we may live

for further reading / reflection, have a look at the “valley of vision” prayerbook!

Respond from the Heart