[Sign for God] 2005-11-28 - The Valley of Weeping

Psalm 84:5-13 Blessed in the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage. 6 As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a spring; the rain also covers it with pools. 7 They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion. 8 O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear O God of Jacob! 9 O God, behold our shield, and look upon the face of Your anointed. 10 For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. 11 I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. 12 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly, 13 O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man who trusts in You.

The Valley of Baca literally means "Valley of Weeping" and refers to "the various difficulties one might face on a pilgrimage." (notes from Nelson's Study Bible)

The Hebrew word baca means tears or weeping. God takes each of us through our own "Valley of Weeping," in order to teach us. Taking us from "strength to strength" builds up our hinds' feet & strengthens our faith & trust in Him. I've been through this valley many times & believe I will go through it again many more. If you are a Christian, you can count on it. Our goal is to learn to trust in our heavenly Father & not just accept, but also to embrace our trials. In doing this, we will find our blessings in them.

Growing up spiritually, I could accept that life is full of trials, but the question that always nagged me was "How? How can I find the ability to go through my valleys gracefully?" I think it's a question many of us ask. Many of us don't really understand. Without having to say, valleys are difficult & can be overwhelming. I never seemed to be one of those people who always appeared so happy and full of joy when going through my valley of weeping. I was weeping. I've learned that it's o.k. to feel the emotions surrounding the situation. After all, it's called the Valley of Baca for a reason.

So, how can we find the ability to go through our valleys gracefully?

God's Word is always there to guide us and encourage us. He knew how we would react and what our natural inclinations would be. So, what do we do? As vs. 6 tells us, we pass through the valley. Don't set up camp and decide to stay. By remaining, we become bitter and hardened to God's word. We must pass through ... move on! Remember our strength is found in Christ. When we just can't move any more, can't take another step, can't go on ... God can! Remember the poem "Footprints"? God is always there walking beside us, but when there is only one set, He is carrying us. Ask God to carry you.

The story of Joseph, found in Genesis, is just one example for us. Here's a boy who was forsaken by his brothers, deceived and sold into slavery. Yet, because of his unwavering faith and trust, Pharaoh advanced Joseph's position to just below Pharaoh himself. In a very real sense, Joseph went from darkness to light. He went from a pit to exuding God's glory. This is God's desire for each of us.

The most important part of going through our valleys is realizing, understanding, & accepting that this is God's will for us. In Merlin R. Carothers' powerful book Power in Praise he encourages by reminding us that we can continue to think our situation is controlled by the devil, but our own "lack of faith in God's supreme power [make] it difficult for Him to work out His perfect plan ... you can believe that God is at work, thank Him for everything and thereby release His power to work in [your] life."

  • Praise God: As quoted by Carothers "Praising God is a way of life that is solidly backed up in God's Word. We praise God, not for the expected results, but for the situation just as it is. Praise is based on a total and joyful acceptance of the present as part of God's loving, perfect will for us. Praise is not based on what we think or hope will happen in the future." He also gives several examples of anxious and concerned prayers asking God to fix the situation, but only when the people "turned to God in joyful acceptance of the present conditions ... was the door opened for God to complete His perfect plan ... "
  • Pass Through: (vs. 6) Don't camp out! Don't stop moving. Get through the valleys. Don't allow them make you bitter. Passing through is the way to prevent this. If you can no longer move, ask God to carry you.
  • Move From Strength to Strength: Fill up during your mountain-top experiences so you will not perish in the desert. (Gen 41:35,36) Let them gather all the food of those good years that are coming, & store up grain under the authority of Pharaoh, & let them keep food in the cities. Then that food shall be as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which shall be in the land of Egypt, that the land my not perish during the famine.
  • Stay in the Word: In the deepest part of your valley - dig a well. Rain will not fill a well. A well fills from the bottom - up (like a spring). Rain evaporates. A well does not. Dig a well by "digging" into God.
  • Make God Your Sun & Shield: (vs. 11)"sun and shield mean 'splendid shield.' Grace and glory may be rephrased as 'glorious grace.' Whereas the anointed king was a 'shield' (vs.9), the great Shield is God Himself." (notes from Nelson's NKJV Study Bible) Allow God to shield your mind as well. Your mind-set is vital to getting through your valleys. Stop telling yourself you can't do it, you can't take it, or you can't go on. Repeat - repeat - repeat "I will come out of this. I am not my pain or my valley. I am a child of God, and I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Carothers again reminds us in his book that "an important step in the act of praising God is to take our eyes off the threatening circumstances and look to God instead." Part of doing that is placing your mind in the heavenlies and not on the things of this earth. You do that by reprogramming your mind. Meditate on God's word, strengthen yourself by encouraging yourself instead of discouraging yourself.

Father, we thank You now for our Valley of Weeping for we know that our lives are in Your complete control & will. We know and understand that You desire only the best for us, and that in order to bring us closer to You, we must learn Your ways. Help us to walk through our valleys gracefully, and joyful of your anointing power in our lives. We love and trust You and accept that although we cannot fathom your awesome ways, our lives are safe In Your loving and protecting embrace and power. In Jesus' Name we pray, AMEN!

Comments or Questions?

[email cheryl] botwbld@cfdevotionals.org