It is not uncommon in our journey of faith to find ourselves in the midst of difficult circumstances for which there seems to be no immediate escape. This may also be the case for those of us who serve as leaders in Christian ministry. We may find ourselves pressed in and overwhelmed with difficult situations in a way that only God understands. In those times it is tempting to react or withdraw. I was thinking the other day that God must allow these kinds of experiences in our lives so that we can get a fresh vision of Him.
I also was encouraged about times like this by reading a few verses from Psalm 84 the theme of which is one’s delight in being in God’s presence — of learning to be satisfied with Him. “Happy are those who are strong in the Lord, who set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Whey they walk through the the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs, where pools of blessing collect after the rains! They will continue to grow stronger, and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem” (verses 5 – 7).
In the journey of faith that leads us to the heavenly City, we are bound to walk through the Valley of Weeping. In fact there is much about life here in this world that could only be described as that kind of valley. But God has called us to a ministry of grace that radically changes the landscape. By virtue of our relationship with God and the presence of His Holy Spirit in our lives, we can turn an otherwise unattractive and morbid place into one of colour and fragrant beauty. The Valley of Baca becomes a place of refreshing springs where pools of blessing collect after the rains.
We live in a dry and thirsty land where there is much suffering and discouragement on every hand. We ourselves are subject to these same influences and feelings. But we needn’t dwell there. God has given us all that we need in Himself (through Christ) for us to feel His grace and to pass its abundant supply around. Through Christ, our lives can literally become a huge source of hope and inspiration to many who might otherwise continue in spiritual and emotional poverty. What a blessing it is to be the kind of people the writer of the Psalm envisions!