Lesson Eleven | Devotion #2: Ezekiel
Ryan Story | Student Pastor
(A letter to my son, Zeke)
Zeke,One of the strangest phenomena of being a parent is realizing you have to name your child. Your mother and I would spend hours throwing names around. At one point your name was almost Kalen Elias, and we would have called you Kal-El for short. Sadly, I did not want to limit you on the potential of Superman; I wanted to name you something where God would take you on an amazing adventure.
Being that I am a strange person, when I read the Bible, I find comfort in the oddest places. When asked, “Who is your favorite Bible character other than Jesus?” most might say Daniel, David, Samson, or Peter. Your dad likes the guys who are tough, the ones that stand up for God’s Word, and the ones who are a bit crazy. I have always been amazed by the prophet Ezekiel. Depending on when you are reading this, determines on me giving you permission to read that book. Ezekiel has some of the toughest sections of Scripture and some of the most beautiful. Throughout his whole life, Ezekiel had one amazing characteristic, his strength. Now with most men of God, Ezekiel knew his strength came from God, which is what his name means, “God strengthens.” Ezekiel did not have an easy life, but I think that helped him realize that he needed to rely on God that much more. The horrible things that this prophet must have seen while warning his loved ones to repent (Ezekiel 3), to watching God’s Glory leave the temple (Ezekiel 10), to not being able to mourn his wife because of what God told him (Ezekiel 24).
Hard times can do one of two things, break you or make you. While it was not Ezekiel who said it, but one of his fellow prophets wrote, “Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction” (Isaiah 48:10). Take the affliction to receive the refinement. Son, life is going to kick your teeth in at some point. I wish I could protect you from it, but it will. Even if you are as righteous as Job, the world will hurt you. There will be days when giving up seems like the only option. There will be days when you feel surrounded, and darkness seems to be everywhere. When the day comes when you feel you might break, remember your namesake, ‘God strengthens!’ The day when you do not know how you are going to make it through another horrible situation, remember God strengthens. Fear will sneak up on you, and the enemy will try to destroy you, but remember God strengthens.
You need to be strong, but never forget who gives you the ability to be strong. Never forget that the only reason we cannot be beaten is because God is with us. God gave His life for us, and now because of what Jesus did on the cross, we are His people. If you never forget who has your back, you will never be without strength.
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31