With Great Mercy

Finding hope when you have trigeminal neuralgia and other types of pain

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November 3, 2008

Then the LORD took hold of me and said, “Get up and go out into the valley, and I will speak to you there.” So I got up and went, and there I saw the glory of the LORD… Ezekiel 3:22-23.

After reading my last blog entry, several people have asked me how a valley of tears could become a place of refreshing. It doesn’t make sense if we trust only our senses and our logic. Through our faith in the Lord, though, we learn how a personal valley can become a place to witness God’s glory.

Ezekiel – the prophet whom God chose to be watchman for Israel – had no choice but to warn the Israelites about God’s upcoming wrath. No one wants to hear gloom and doom, and this made Ezekiel’s task a painful and dangerous one. Yet he wanted to be obedient, and he was. It was in the midst of this obedience that God led Ezekiel into a valley.

The valley represents a place of loss, of weeping, and of mourning. No one wants to be there. Let’s face it: feeling good feels good. Feeling low, sick, bad, unloved, grieved, or feeling pain doesn’t feel good. Our flesh has a disdain for the valley. But sometimes our spirit cries out for it.

We’ve heard the adage about being down so low that there is no place to look but up. I think that adage has a lot to do with valleys. Down so low, we’re usually there all alone. That’s when we really long for understanding. No matter who we are or what we need, God understands. In our aloneness, we have the chance to focus on what we can gain from the situation and to ask how we can walk out of the valley and back onto the mountain top.

Before we can ascend again, we need to see the beauty of the glory that shines down into the valley. When we’re on the mountaintop, the glory makes it difficult to see anything but ourselves and what is directly around us. But in the valley, the glory becomes so profound. We can see more of God’s creation, and in our solace we can also have a greater experience with Him. With Great Mercy

When Ezekiel was in the valley, the Lord gave him some instructions. They were not easy to follow, but Ezekiel knew they were from God. He knew because he had just experienced God’s glory. A personal experience with God helps us while we remain in the place of lowness. Having an intimate experience with the Creator fosters spiritual renewal. Our circumstances may not change, but our spirits are revived by the glory.

My mother loves a song called “This Valley is for Me.” It’s a beautiful song, and Mom, I dedicate this entry to you.

This Valley Is For Me
By Ricky Atkinson

As I look down this mountainside
I can see where this road goes
The Shepherd is leading me
To a place where I can grow
Though it seems to be a trying test
I have no doubt He knows what best
It just might be a place of perfect rest
This valley is for me
This valley is for me
The waters have been made so sweet
A pleasant rest for my weary feet
This valley is for me
A far cry from the mountain scene
The grass here has been made so green
My Shepherd chose this route
So I can say without a doubt
This valley is for me
Standing here beside still water
I know why I am here today
This place of restoration
Will strengthen me along the way
Through this valley I can feel
His presence here is oh so real
Now I know it was His perfect will
This valley is for me
Repeat chorus, then:
My Shepherd chose this route
So I can say without a doubt
This valley is for me

With Great Mercy

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