This past Thursday I was reminded of the one and only time I have ever been white water rafting and it was down the Nile!! I was very nervous and the closer we got to the first drop, the more I wondered why in the world I was doing it. However, once we went through the rapids (and none of us fell out of the raft), there was great rejoicing and happiness. (For more details about the trip you will have to click here and scroll down to Monday, July 5.) Having just reflected on these memories so recently it is not coincidence that they were brought to mind again as I read the following verses earlier this evening:
“Happy are the people whose strength is in You, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Tears, they make it a source of springwater; even the autumn rain will cover it with blessings. They go from strength to strength; each appears before God in Zion.” Psalm 84:5-7
Several things in these verses stood out to me. First, after an amazing FULL day of worship yesterday, I awoke this morning extremely physically and emotionally exhausted. It was the same kind of exhaustion I experience in Uganda and those times when you totally and completely just open up your life and allow God to do whatever it is He wants to do with and through you. This morning as I desperately cried (literally) out to God for His strength to make it through the pilgrimage I was about to embark on this day, there was a sense of happiness within my soul. This happiness as the verse states is only found in His strength and God knew I would need His strength today.
Second, when I read about the Valley of tears, I remembered all the tears that must have been shed at some point yesterday from some of the people who were in the cars as they passed by the corner of Hardin Store and 249. (Click here to find out how God is able to sweep away all your sin and transgression faster than the rapids can take you down stream.) While some may still be crying out in hopelessness because they have not heard or accepted Christ’s forgiveness on the cross for ALL sin, I believe there are some who have passed through the valley of tears, mourning their sin and the loss of their child, and have turned to Christ. They have allowed Him to take those times of tears and turn them into a Spring of Life. God has used their past to strengthen them and even the autumn rains will cover them with blessings! How awesome is that!?!
Lastly, each of us is able to go from strength to strength through His power. For when we are weak, it is then He is made strong (2 Corinthians 12:10).