“How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young—a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you. 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 84:1-7
Fasting isn’t easy, and it’s not just the hunger pangs. You may be fasting for alignment with God, a breakthrough in your circumstances, or clarity about a decision. Regardless of the reason, fasting brings an awareness of the gap between where you are and where you want to be—you are on a journey and haven’t arrived yet.
In Psalm 84, the psalmist uses the pilgrimage through the Valley of Baca to illustrate a difficult path. The valley’s name indicates a dry and arid region where weeping trees grow. As people traveled to Jerusalem to worship, they would pass through this “weeping” place, but their journey was worth it in the end. Their Valley of Baca turns into refreshing springs and pools and increasing strength until they appear before God.
As you turn away from the noise and sojourn toward God, remember to press on because the journey is worth it. Your Valley of Baca will become a very different place. God can bring life to the dryest areas of your life and spiritually strengthen you through every season. Today, take time to thank God that He works all things together for good (Romans 8:28). Write down all the times He carried you through a hard time in your life. When you enter your time of prayer, enter with a restful expectancy. The same God who strengthened you before will strengthen you again.
How has God grown you through dry seasons in your life?
God, thank you for every season you’ve used to strengthen me and bring me closer to you. Let every step of this journey be one step closer to you. Turn the dry areas of my life into refreshing springs. Help me to tune out the noise and hear your guidance. In Jesus’ name, amen.