To our 9:00 am Shabbat Ark of Prayer and the Mishpacha within,
This week’s parsha is Pesach: Exodus 33:12-34:36, Ezekiel 36:37-37-14, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
This parsha is about release from slavery, restoration and the greatness of our Master who is the object of our worship.
What a perfect picture of a powerful G-d before whom nothing is impossible and from which we can always expect the Fruits of the Spirit if we are but willing to humble ourselves before Him and be teachable.
Many of the people I know, including myself, have struggled with some compulsion that they wanted to stop doing, but could not.
The Ezekiel passage gives a very graphic description of a valley crammed full of dry, lifeless bones, fully beyond any hope of restoration or life. The context is about the return of the dispersed Israelite exiles, scattered among the nations, to the land of Israel, the reunification of the twelve tribes, and the unity generated from following one king, of one nation, and worshiping one G-d.
Just like the Israelites, our compulsions and disobedience grew progressively to dominate our life which became more and more unmanageable. Our compulsions always progressed, and it always eventually polluted those areas of our life that seemed higher functioning.
If you consider the scope of the story of Israel, you'll see that same progression and pattern repeated over and over with their relationships with one another and with G-d. Eventually G-d always needs to exercise “tough love” and set boundaries which force the Israelites out of the land before they will repent and He can then restore them to wholeness.
Through G-d’s power, if our compulsions eventually became manageable and our life improved, we first had to reach a “bottom” where we were utterly without hope of our life being different.
Our compulsions tend to either beat us into submission, making us teachable, or to kill us spiritually and physically. I know some who have died but many more who are being restored or have been restored to better than “factory” condition.
For those that were finally willing to be teachable and then recovered, it was from that place of “dry bones” that G-d was finally able to lead them out and up to a restored life and a restored relationship with Him.
Many may find this strange, but I consider such deep despair as almost a positive thing because I see it as an opportunity to help point the path back to the L-rd. It is an encouraging sign, like the first hint of light just before dawn, of an opportunity for a positive turning point in their compulsion towards healing. ... they may finally be willing to follow scriptural direction and to turn their life around.
And remember, many of the miracles that Yeshua performed were for people such as this who were utterly without hope.
Do you have an area in your life for which you have no hope of change and which needs the special touch of G-d and the support and wisdom of others? There are many at Temple that have been on your journey in the valley of dry bones and know how to navigate through your darkest tunnel. Reach out to them.
But prayer is the foundation for everything. It is one of the reasons that I start off my day with it and why I am glad I can be at Temple a little early to participate in the Ark of Prayer.
I hope you find my musings this week thought provoking and helpful as you deal with life on the shore in the tidal zone amongst the roaring waves.
Blessings to you and yours. Be joyful in your prayer this week.
I hope to see you at our Shabbat prayer session this weekend.
Your brother in Yeshua in the TEVA TEFILAH,
Posted on Thu, April 17, 2014