Dead Things

dandelion-meadow-macro-fluff-161506Death, dead things. They are grotesque to us. So disturbing is the idea of a dead rotting thing. Dreams are no better when they die. They hurt us, haunt us. Their stench in our nostrils, revolting inside us. They break us in ways that no one can know, in places that never have seen the light of day. They burrow their sorrow where the sun cannot reach and their tendrils coiling ’round us, even when we don’t want them to- even when we can’t admit them to anyone, least of all ourselves.

But here is one thing I know. The death of our deepest most vibrant dreams is not the end. Not when God is on the throne and last time I checked, He hadn’t abdicated. This is a new season for me. A season to experience the goodness of God in a whole new light. After all He is the ‘God who brings dead things to life’ and my deadness is just one of His exploits. No not in the context of spiritual salvation. I walked that road long ago, and chose to follow the Fisher of Men. But in the context of my dreams, those longing desires I never revealed to another living soul for fear of hearing the truth: I would never be enough, not if I ever wanted to be on the winning side of my dreams. I knew that was the truth, still, a dream burned within and it never went away. Funny thing is I never thought it was from God. I thought the dream was me, born of my own greed to be recognized. Yet, it wasn’t. 

 

I grew up in church. I know the whole shebang on who God is supposed to be; loving, kind, merciful, a healer, the good father, the God who brings dead things to life. Like Lazarus. Only Lazarus was a big deal, he was not insignificant. What I never realized in the many years of being a Jesus-follower was that God also brings those insignificant dead things to life, not just the ones that are big and significant. But just in the last year I have understood that after 28 years of life and following Jesus, I don’t actually know God. The depths of His unfathomable wonder are so far beyond what I thought possible, what I have ever conceived about Him.

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You see, in the long run, in the grand scheme of things, my meager dreams mean nothing. They are insignificant. But they are not insignificant to me. Thus, because I am significant to God so are my dreams. So are your dreams.

 

In this new season, I am looking back and understanding that in the depths of my despair, God was making a way where there was no way. Where I saw only a dead end, He was carving a path out of stone, like water eroding the banks that contain it. He is bringing my deepest longings, my dreams to fruition. Those dreams I long thought dead. And so I buried them, because that’s what you do with grotesque rotting dead things. You burry them in the earth until only their dry skeletons remain. I mourned the dead dreams and moved on looking for new fertile ground, unwilling to spend my life crying over spilled milk. Only to have God say ‘it’s not over yet- watch and I will bring those dead bones to life.’

 

Yet, here I am, 7 years after the death of a dream, finding myself in the unfathomable places of God, where like in Ezekiel in the valley of bones, He is bringing dead things, my dreams- my deepest darkest longings, to life. I’m learning that God has a back up plan and a backup for the backup. When I miss the mark, am too afraid to trust, am paralyzed by pain and grief and fear of life, He still has another way. He is not limited by our limits. And He will fulfill those things that burn within our hearts because He’s put them there.

 

Yet, this is just barely the shoreline. In 20 years, I’ll probably be saying the same thing still, because there will be so much more to dive into even then. He is the God who brings the broken dead things to life.

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Ezekiel 37:5-6, 12-14

 This is what the Lord God says to these bones:

I will cause breath to enter you, and you will live. 

I will put tendons on you, make flesh grow on you,

and cover you with skin. I will put breath in you

so that you come to life. Then you will KNOW

that I am Yahweh.”…

This is what the Lord God says: I am going to

open your graves and bring you up from them,

 My people, and lead you into the land of Israel.

 13 You will know that I am Yahweh, My people,

when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 

14 I will put My Spirit in you, and you will live,

and I will settle you in your own land.

Then you will know that I am Yahweh.

I have spoken, and I will do it.” 

This is the declaration of the Lord.

 

 

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When your in the battle, in the battle,

In the raging battles of life

And there seems no end in sight

No rhyme or reason to the madness

The mad, mad battle that just keeps on.

It just rages.

 

Inside. Outside. It goes on.

It rages without mercy,

Without compassion, with no hope.

It just continues on

Killing as it goes unending

Devouring you in its wake.

 

It swallows you whole, and alone you will die,

you’ll be all consumed, but for those

ally or foe who stand

and stand firm in the battles of life.

Those who have learned firmness

To stand erect and stand strong and deep.

 

They will stand strong, strong in your battle.

They stand on your behalf.

On landslides and avalanches

On torrential thundering waters

They stand and remain unmoved

Solid in their mounted states,

 

Solid, as poles dug in the ground, set deep

Deep enough that they cannot be upturned

Not in hurricane winds

Not against tidal waves.

They remain and you remain, clinging

Clinging to life in their deep-set strength.

 

In their iron clad will, unbendable

Unyielding strength, they remain

Erect, firm, unmoved

And you with them,

Though perhaps slightly more

More battered, more bruised, diminished.

 

Yet, none- the- less alive

Alive in your strife, in your pain

Alive in your raging fears.

But still a survivor of that which

Is unsurvivable, that which

Kills, destroys, leeches, diminishes you.

 

And one day you too will learn, learn how

You will learn how to dig deep,

Spread deep roots that broaden

Into earth’s center and remain.

You too shall grow erect, tall-

Surmountable in your own unmovable state.

 

You will learn the art of standing

And standing firm, firm in your battles.

In your own raging waters and avalanches,

You too will one day remain undevoured,

You too shall become like a steel pole

Bolted and bolted deep into crumbling earth.

 

You too shall remain unmoved, a marker,

A sign, a hope to any who can see

Who stand in the battles of their life

Soft and breakable as you once were.

And you shall be their pole,

Their firm and righteous strength.

 

You shall become that which

You never were, never thought to be.

So stand now in the battles of life

Clinging to the hopes that come,

And come steadily before you,

Engrained, unmoved, implanted in the earth.

 

Remain in them, the strong, as you would wish and

Wish deeply for one to remain in you, trust you

Clinging to that which you’ve learned

Holding on to that which you’ve weathered

Cleaving to that which you may become,

Becoming like them: strong unmovable, erect.

 

All in the name of the One who goes,

Goes before us all and stands,

Stands the firmest of all, erect and proud and strong.

God, in His greatness, His hope, His mercy

He goes before and paves the way

Makes provision for our lacks our wants, yet He stands.

And stands strong.

In The Battle