The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “O Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”
Every day we are bombarded with information regarding the activity within Sam’s bone marrow and the doctors are grappling with the evidence to help us decide the best way to treat the condition to prolong my daughter’s life. They are kind to us, wanting to lead us to the best decision but, “It’s a Catch 22,” they say, “and there is no 100% right answer or cure that will guarantee her a long life.” I hear the words but am not completely able to absorb them.
Here, standing in the middle of this valley of decisions for the future of my daughter, my response to the question is just like Ezekiel’s response, “O Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”
I know that my Redeemer lives. He is the answer to this. Right from the beginning Reid, Sam and I decided that we would do all that we could do medically to see her healed. As the months roll by, as the side effects of treatment look us mockingly in the face, it takes everything within us to stand firm. Sheer exhaustion zaps the courage from me but I can not back down or allow fear to overtake me.
Psalm 27:8 You have said, “Seek My face [inquire for and require My presence as your vital need]”. My heart says to You, “Your face (Your presence), Lord, will I seek, inquire for, and require [of necessity and on the authority of Your Word].”
For the first time in my life, God’s word really is of vital necessity to me. We have been through many battles: broken bones, lost houses, closed businesses, financial burden, retrenchment and cancer but nothing that has touched us quite like this. Some days I am thankful for the steel I have in my back, put there from the pressures of past pain but there are also days when I, for a moment, think it is so unfair.
I get disappointed, discouraged and my strength fails me. Yet even then, God sends a word in season to encourage me. He reminds me that because I have set the Lord always before me, because he is at my right hand, I ‘need’ not be shaken. (Psalm 16:8) His words and their authority have become my vital necessity. Without them, fear drags me into the darkest of pits. I am reminded constantly of the manna in the wilderness, just enough for each day. But just like the Israelites, I want more. I want to escape this journey. I want the days to go faster, the recovery to be quicker, the results to be miraculous. To me, miraculous is fast. I want to enter the Promised Land today and be done with all this. And again He reminds me, “His ways are higher than my ways,” that even though I am immensely frustrated, my life, Sam’s life, our lives are in His hands. Sam stays inside due to risk of infection; she is unable to escape her isolation. It affects us all. Our house, once loud and full of activity has become a quiet refuge instead. We wish it were not so.
Deuteronomy 8:3 And He humbled you and allowed you to hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you recognize and personally know that man does not live by bread only, but man lives by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.
God allows us to go through things. He allows us to be hungry and humbled. He has a plan for us to engage with His character, to see His mighty acts and experience His mighty deeds. Our flesh hates to be challenged in this way. We long for comfort, security and blessing. We like to snack on His word at our leisure to take the pieces that please us and leave the things that don’t. He provides for us miraculously, giving us exactly what we need for that day but we want to see into the future, we want to know that everything will be okay.
Trusting God is uncomfortable. We like to plan and establish paths for ourselves. Yet to fully surrender requires that the bread of His word today be sufficient. When we lay our lives before Him, we will be like the Israelites in the wilderness whose “clothing did not become old upon you nor did their feet swell those forty years.” Deuteronomy 8:4
The enemy is obvious but so strategic. He moves us to fear, relying on the physical tiredness of our bodies, seeking to catch us out. Why do the headaches always come close to 10 pm, why is Emergency always full in the middle of the night, why do anaphylactic reactions appear on the last day of chemo? Why? Because we are tired and our defenses are down. There is a valley of dry bones. There are a multitude of people in the valley of decision, just like me. Some seek after healing, some for relationships to be restored, some for financial solutions but more than that; there are people who wonder who God is and whether eternity is real.
Ezekiel 37:2 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’ “
Part of me relying on God for Sam’s healing is my partnering with Him. The word He sends me isn’t just to fuel and to feed me, it is also a powerful weapon against the enemy. I look and am overwhelmed, often tired, often discouraged but I rise up. I speak using the words He has given me since I have nothing left of myself to give. As I speak I see the symptoms subside. I step, one foot at a time, moment by moment I live. She will be healed. God will give wisdom to the doctors; he will provide miracles in her body. An army will gather, united as one.
I hold onto His rich and precious promises. As it was for the Israelites, so it will be for us.
Deuteronomy 8: 7-10 For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing forth in valleys and hills;
A land of wheat and barley, and vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey;
A land in which you shall eat food without shortage and lack nothing in it; a land whose stones are iron and out of whose hills you can dig copper.
When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the Lord your God for all the good land which He has given you.
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