Do you love moving to a new place? Most people don’t! I grew up moving regularly. In fact, I never lived in any one place more than three years until I was an adult. My parents emphasized the excitement and delight of experiencing new adventures, meeting new and different people, and starting fresh in a new school. Little did I know then, that they themselves weren’t always thrilled about the move! However, they succeeded in imparting to me a love of adventure and challenge . . . or so I thought, until I began to realize as an adult that grown-ups (particularly the wife or mother!) are the ones who unpack boxes for the entire family! I also realized that not all new adventures are equally thrilling! Some are disturbing, if not outright painful.
Our spiritual journeys are similar to our earthly travels. Psalm 84 vividly depicts the journey of a spiritual pilgrim through the Valley of Baca. The psalmist states: “Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage” (verse 5). In other words, we are blessed if we recognize that our strength is in God and if we set our hearts on moving toward Him. The first four verses of the psalm express the writer’s passion for the presence of God. The pilgrimage involves moving closer and closer to Him. Verse 6 describes a surprising transformation that takes place during the journey: “As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the rain also covers it with pools.” “Baca” means “weeping” in Hebrew. Therefore, if we purpose to set our hearts on pilgrimage, our valleys of despair and sorrow will be transformed into springs, into living water. The word for “pools” is the same Hebrew word used for “blessings.” The rain will cover us with blessings, even in our valleys. Verse 7 says that the travelers “go from strength to strength, until “each one appears before God in Zion.” As we are obedient to set our hearts on seeking God’s face and His presence in every situation, on trusting Him in every cirumstance, He guarantees that our valley of weeping will be a source of living water and blessing in our life. We can count on Him to help us go “from strength to strength.” Moving might be difficult, but it brings great rewards!