Death valley is perhaps one of those few places of earth which can be said to be the ultimate crucible not just for human live, but for just about anything that lives. Some scavengers by the collective wisdom of generations have learned not to even venture out to scavenge on the carcass of those who succumb to the elements there, lest they themselves fall prey to the same hostile elements.
It is not surprising to find whole carcass intact with no signs of scavenging, including the leather-like skins covering bones of human remains of those who challenged the elements of Death Valley. Though it doesn’t boast the highest temperature ever recorded on earth, 136 F, Death Valley comes in a close second, at 134° F on July 10, 1913. Badwater, Death Valley is the lowest point in the western hemisphere 282 ft below sea level. Even crossing in vehicles will bring those vehicles to the breaking point, and a fair amount of them do break. The skeletal remains of numerous visitors including so many of the native animal, as well their two-footed counterparts lives tells the story of this forbidding place of violent contrast of lows, and highs.
Much like it occurs in Death Valley, we will experience violent contrast of lows and highs until we reach the breaking point where there is separation between the chaff and the wheat kernel, of great value which God thus seeks in this exercise which he brings to every true son, and daughter whom he can receive, and who can receive him. Passing through this valley experience the Psalmist declares…I am diminished like a declining shadow, I am tossed up and down like the locust. One minute I am most hopeful, then the next I can see the Lord no pace and I am troubled.
You read the word, believed the word, did every thing expected according to the word, and then looked for the expected result, but instead you get transported like Ezekiel into the spiritual version of Death Valley called the valley of dry bones.
It’s a kind of place where you can expect to come to the end of any human contributions to vital spiritual life. This is a place where God separated the husk from the wheat: here the part of you that must receive the things of God must come forth to receive it. God has here the fool-proof test for true sons that are not bastards, unquenchable fire in the valley of dry bones. Here every man does his own dying, and his own believing, your faith grow leg, or wings, or you go back home, and await another invitation when you are ready.