To the Chief Musician. On an instrument of Gath. A Psalm of the sons of Korah. How lovely [is] Your tabernacle, O LORD of hosts! 2 My soul longs, yes, even faints For the courts of the LORD; My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. 3 Even the sparrow has found a home, And the swallow a nest for herself, Where she may lay her young–[Even] Your altars, O LORD of hosts, My King and my God. 4 Blessed [are] those who dwell in Your house; They will still be praising You. Selah 5 Blessed [is] 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! Selah 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. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God Than dwell in the tents of wickedness. 11 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. 12 O LORD of hosts, Blessed [is] the man who trusts in You!PSALM 84:1-12
SPRINGS IN THE VALLEY OF BACA
We took our family on a road trip last year to see several of the places I remember from my childhood. We traveled from destination to destination until we reached the town where I grew up. Each stop along the way brought us closer to our destination, yet each stop was its own destination. We saw the farm that Walt Disney grew up on, we saw the zoo in Omaha, we won trivia night at Buffalo Wild Wings in Sioux Falls, we crossed the Badlands National Park, saw Mount Rushmore, visited with friends in Wyoming, drove the Bear Tooth Highway, visited Yellowstone, Glacier, and dozens of other little stops along the way. I was encouraged and surprised at how well my family embraced the road trip life.
Our spiritual lives are like a journey traveling from one destination to the next until we enter into glory. We go through various landscapes in our lives. Some of the settings of our journey appear like a flourishing forest filled with life, other moments we travel in life may appear dry, arid, and dare we say lifeless? We may even wonder why we had to go through them. But the Psalmist notes that even in the valley of Baca (an expression for a dry and arid place) that God can cause springs to form and not just springs, rain falls as well (there is more than one way the Lord can bring water to a dry place).
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been through some “dry” places in my life. I’ve found comfort in knowing that they were just stops along the journey and even been surprised at how God has met me in the dry places. Often I don’t even realize just how much he has been working in my life in those moments until I look back with perspective and see that he has refreshed me even in the valley of Baca.
Of course we were never meant to stay in the valley of Baca. We know that one day, for those in Christ, we will reach our final destination and there will be an abundance of everything we need… Jesus Himself in full glory and the world unhindered by sin. See Revelations 22:1-5, “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, [was] the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each [tree] yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree [were] for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name [shall be] on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.”
Father, Thank you for the journey of the Christian life. I am grateful that I never journey alone, but that you are always with me. Even in the hard times, difficult, and dry places, you are there. You provide refreshment for me in every thing I need. I long and look forward to eternity in your unfiltered presence. I am so thankful for the glimpse we get of heaven when your saints gather to praise you on earth! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.