All that is not Him must finally find its place on the Cross before we can really live. He is our Garden, our Breath, our Daydreams Fulfilled. Christ alone is our Lover and Friend that satisfies like no one and nothing else.
As He has taken from me all that my fingers would not let go of willingly… my idols, my expectations… He has filled my mind with joy beyond words… warmth I never thought was possible to feel. It was and still is, for me anyway, only through the valley of grief and pain that this happens.
Death to self is not a sterile theological thing to be talked about in abstract terms. It is death. It is messy and painful and humiliating and dark and lonely. I have cringed from it at every step… and still, with the last of my fingers clinging to my rights and to my life… still I fight like a dying man gasping for his last breath.
But resurrected Life…. his Life… oh that is amazing! Joy and peace and rest and contentment…a life fueled by Christ Jesus! There are no words to adequately describe it… and no words fit enough to thank Him for it. It is there I must live… in His life. The old man, my rights and expectations… my fears and doubts… my desires and passions… all must be kept on His cross… dead to me… that I might enjoy all that His Spirit has for me.
The hand of the Lord was on 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, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.” 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.’ ” (Ezekiel 37:1-6 NIV)