Valley of Weeping

Happy are those who are strong in the Lord, who set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. When they walk through the Valley of Weeping (Baca), it will become a place of refreshing springs, where pools of blessing collect after the rains! (Psalm 84: 5-6 NLT)

The ancient Israelites walked through difficult, dangerous, and dry land on their pilgrimage to Jerusalem. We also walk through difficult, dangerous, and dry times in our lives, especially as the mother of someone trapped in bondage to addiction. Verse 6 of this Psalm talks about walking through the Valley of Baca. This name did not mean anything to me until I read that it could be translated “The Valley of Weeping.” I could certainly relate to that!

The image is that our salty tears are turned by God into springs of fresh, refreshing water that nourishes us and others around us. Tears of pain, hurt, rejection, and anger could become bitterness that poisons us and others, but God can make those tears become a fresh spring, a pool of blessing. How can that be?

1. Knowing who we are before God. We are pure and lovely in His sight. We are His princess, deeply loved. Zephaniah 3:17 says that He dances over us with joy. This world is full of pain but our story doesn’t end there. True joy comes from a love relationship with God who sacrificed His Son in order to have you be a part of His family. He loves you that much!

2. Knowing we can’t deal with life in our own strength. Verse 7 talks about going “from strength to strength.” God’s strength is the source of our strength. Joy comes when I surrender “my claim to my right to myself” (Oswald Chambers) and recognize that it has to be Christ living His life through me: I have been crucified with Christ. Nevertheless, I live. Yet not I, but Christ lives in me. And the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me (Galatians 2:20). We have the privilege of exchanging our fearful, frantic, fragile life for Jesus living His life in us. That is a great deal!

3. Knowing that we can trust God to work in our situation. We are incapable of controlling other people and the situations around us. When we finally come to the place of understanding that fact, we are free to accept and trust that God is working in our lives. Our pain and struggles can be used to refresh others as they see the beauty of Jesus in us.

For the Lord God is our light and protector. He gives us grace and glory. No good thing will the Lord withhold from those who do what is right (Psalm 84:11).

Cherri Freeman
facilitator of Love them to Life Support Group

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