Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Weeping Well

Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
    whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. 
As they pass through the Valley of Baka,
    they make it a place of springs; 
    the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
They go from strength to strength, 
    till each appears before God in Zion.

Psalm 84:5-7 (NIV)

Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them.
Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.
They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God.

Psalm 84:5-7 (KJV)

Last Tuesday, I attended a Lollipops concert with my kids put on by the Grand Rapids Symphony. A Lollipops concert is a 45 minute deal that combines a fairy tale, ballet, and the symphony aimed at kids to give them a taste of the symphony. It was a wonderful experience. My kids enjoyed it, as did I.

But, that is beside the point.

The concert was held at a local church, and as the symphony was warming up, I took a few minutes to read one of my Psalms for the day.

You guessed it...Psalm 84. Now normally I am a KJV girl. I am not part of the KJV only crowd. Its just that my favorite and familiar Bible is KJV.

So while I am rather familiar with Psalm 84, the wording in the NIV was just enough different  to give me pause for thought.

I particularly liked the "whose hearts are set on pilgrimage." You don't get that thought in the KJV.

Here are a couple bullet thoughts that I hope bless your heart today.

-Baca is a Hebrew word that means weeping. Think trials, suffering, hard times. Things that break our hearts. Make us weep-literally.

-Make it a well. This reminds me of Proverbs 20:5-council in the heart of man is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out. Our hard experiences and trials are the things the well of the wisdom, empathy and comfort that we pass on to others. We can choose to become bitter or better through our trials. We can make this valley of weeping just tears, or pour it into a well of experience that others can draw from.

-Their hearts are set on pilgrimage, who passing through the valley. "This world is not my home, I'm just a-passin' through." Everything on this earth-every experience, every trial, every joy, every sorrow-is just temporary. It may be temporary as is an hour, or a day, or a month, or a year, or even a lifetime. But it is still temporary. We are looking for eternity. We are just passing through. We are pilgrims. Our home is heaven.

The Psalms are very devotional, but they are so much more than that. They are David's heart. Asaph's heart. Moses' heart. Psalms was their blog. And I have drawn from their well so many times in my life.

I have not had intense suffering in my life. I have not lost a baby or a spouse. But when my Aunt Elsie died, my heart was broken. I cried and cried. I wondered if I would ever stop. Ever stop crying in the shower or at the drop of a hat. I wondered if I would ever stop missing her.

I do still miss her. But I don't cry over her loss anymore. I look forward to seeing her in heaven.

I do not have major physical pain or health issues. I know there are many of you who do. But, I did suffer with back pain-day in, day out, for almost a year. Somedays I couldn't get out of bed. I have been tried with post-partum and seasonal depression. Valleys. Passing through.

Emotional and spiritual buffeting. Like this spring. Feeling under attack daily. For weeks. Daily cast upon the Lord for grace, sustenance and strength. Weeping made into a well?

-Whose strength is in You...and they go from strength to strength. It isn't in us just holding out until we see the light at the end of the tunnel. It isn't in our being "I am a woman, hear me roar." It is only through relying on God. Our Rock. Our Strength. Our Fortress. He is the one in whom our strength and salvation lies. Resting on Him daily.

-Till each appear before God in Zion. That's our destination. We have to keep our eyes on the goal.

For the Lord God is a Sun and Shield: The Lord will give grace and glory: No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11