Saturday, November 6, 2010

in the valley.

"Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
and bring her into the wilderness,
and speak tenderly to her.
And there I will give her her vineyards
and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth,
as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.
"And in that day, declares the LORD, you will call me 'My Husband,' and no longer will you call me 'My Baal.' For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be remembered by name no more. Hosea 2.14

My lovely pastor spoke today about the valley.
It's been the story of my life for about 3 years now.
where i am in the desert, in the valley and i can hear God's heart whispering to me "come away... come away...." but i so often ignore that voice, "ill get to it later".he calls, not begging or pleading, but longing. he wont pull us there, he will draw us there. we will WANT to go into that place. its when we are desperate, when we are shunned by the world, called forsaken, called forgotten, we have stage 4 cancer, our family is falling apart, we are at our wits end-- then he calls us away. we dance in the wilderness. we dance with HIM in the wilderness. he says to our hearts, in its fragments and broken pieces, "its ok. you are safe here. this is intimacy with me. you are safe. i see you in your broken places. i love you, oh i see those tears and i have them in a bottle. you are safe. you can be yourself and i will love you for it."there, we lean into his embrace as he holds us close to his heart. we rest our weary head on his shoulder and he teaches us how to pray. he carries us through the dryness. we are carried through the valley, he refreshes us with his living water. we speak another language.
and we survive. we learn real intimacy with the Lord and we are never the same. it changes us, it changes our hearts. we learn how to cry and know we are being heard.
and we are never the same.
the Lord has brought me through so many valleys, where i just cant "feel" Him. Where i feel overwhelmingly lost, confused and broken, asking, "where are you? why do i feel so alone?" But, then, he has never left me. it was in the silence that he was speaking.
Jason Upton has a song that always penetrates deep into my heart:

it always gets me so much how the Lord speaks to our deepest places. He speaks to me alot as I'm falling asleep in a dark room. Its very intimate conversations. I feel so refreshed after. He speaks and I just ponder, think, write. thats when i can feel the kiss of heaven on my forehead.
the funny thing? that time of deep intimacy with the Lord usually comes when i am in an intense crises in my life. when something is wrong, then he lures me away from it so i can lean on my beloved.
that ends up being a permanent "lean", so we end up like this bride in Song of Solomon.
Who is that coming up from the wilderness,
leaning on her beloved? (Songs 8.5)

i really dont know where im going with this but i just like how God is speaking stuff to me about it all. i need to just sit and journal.