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."
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!
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