Not Crushed

A post from not long ago and how the Lord met me on a dark day…

Today is one of those days. I am not sure what triggered it, but the wounds of the pain and suffering flared back up. These days come, maybe less frequent than before, but they come.

There have been days where the grief is stronger and endures through most of the day. Other days the grief of loss comes in slower waves. Then there are other days when there is no warning – it just hits.

This was one of those days.

God met me there.

“I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish.” Ezekiel 17:24

Today, my time in the Word continued through Ezekiel. Verse 24 washed over me.

I am more convinced now (in a season of suffering and great loss) of my need of a transfusion. A divine transfusion. Life sucks us dry and leaves us brittle. Most of the time in my life I do not even notice that my leaves are dry, lifeless, and fruitless as a tree in midwinter.

Suffering continues to show me my weaknesses like I have never seen them before. I need Jesus, I always have, suffering didn’t change that, but suffering makes me much more aware of it.

The verse from Ezekiel was meant for encouragement for Israel in the midst of Ezekiel’s words of coming judgment.

The Bible Knowledge Commentary sums it up well…

“Lest the people get overly discouraged about God’s coming judgment, Ezekiel added an “addendum” to his prophecy against Jerusalem. Though not specifically calling God an “eagle,” Ezekiel compared God’s future actions to those of the two eagles (Babylon and Egypt) already mentioned. Neither of those eagles had been able to provide the security and prosperity Israel desperately longed for, but God would succeed where they had failed.

God said He (I Myself) will take a shoot from the very top of a cedar and plant it. The “shoot” was the Davidic line (cf. v. 4 with v. 12). God will replant a king from the line of David on the mountain heights of Israel. The kingdom will not be destroyed for God will restore it to the land of Israel. That kingdom will produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar. That is, it will prosper as it has never done before. Instead of plucking branches from it, birds of every kind will nest in it. This suggests that Israel will protect surrounding nations rather than being their pawn.

God’s purpose in restoring Israel is to reveal His glory and plan for Israel to all nations. All the trees … will know that I the Lord bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. Israel’s rise to prominence will be a catalyst to turn other nations to the Lord.

This prophecy was not fulfilled when Israel returned to the land after the Babylonian Captivity. The fulfillment of verses 22-24 awaits God’s establishment of Israel in the Millennium under the Messiah, Jesus Christ. At that time God’s kingdom will rule the world (cf. Dan. 2:44-45; Zech. 14:3-9, 16-17).”

Today, the truth of the character of God that he shows me in this passage met me where I was at (in a dimmed mood overtaken by grief). Then, He picked me up.

Like Israel, I needed to hear this addendum to the season of suffering.

I may be down, but I am not crushed. God will never crush the bruised reed of our broken lives. His love and tender mercy will see to it that we are built back up. He will return vitality to my heart….to make it ready for the next wave of pain that certainly will come in this sin-torn world.

Yet, the hope. He will dry up the green tree, and make that dry tree flourish again. Ah, the cycle of his redeeming work!

A song by Casting Crowns followed this reading, “Praise You in the Storm” – O Lord, make this the song of my heart!!

I was sure by now, God you would have reached down

And wiped our tears away,

Stepped in and saved the day.

But once again, I say amen

That it’s still raining

As the thunder rolls

I barely hear your whisper through the rain

I’m with you

And as your mercy falls

I raise my hands and praise

The God who gives and takes away

And I’ll praise you in this storm

And I will lift my hands

That you are who you are

No matter where I am

And every tear I’ve cried

You hold in your hand

You never left my side

And though my heart is torn

I will praise you in this storm

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