The burden of the valley of vision (Isa. 22:1 KJV)
The valley of vision is the place of weakness, lowliness, and personal brokenness. In this scripture, the valley speaks of “life’s darker experiences” (Alec Motyer, The Prophecy of Isaiah, 182), a sort of dark night of the soul. In the valley, we desperately reach out to Christ for help. In our neediness; we meet Christ, experience answered prayer, and are refreshed in the presence of the Holy Spirit. In the valley, I come to know God by experience. As the ancient patriarch, Job announced, “I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:5-6). The valley is where we meet grace face-to-face and find that that God’s grace is greater than all our weaknesses (2 Cor. 12:1-10).
The Valley of Vision
Lord, High and Holy, Meek and Lowly,
Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold thy glory.
Let me learn by paradox
that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision.
Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter thy stars shine;
Let me find thy light in my darkness,
thy life in my death,
thy joy in my sorrow,
thy grace in my sin,
thy riches in my poverty,
thy glory in my valley.
Arthur Bennett, The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 1975), xxiv.
HT: Tim Challies