Despair, Hope, and Psalm 84

December 2004

This morning, as I was preparing to write this letter, I found myself suddenly very depressed at where I am currently at in my journey. Things are moving much more slowly than I wish they would, and, as usual, I was blaming myself and my fears and weaknesses for that. As I was showering, though, I was reminded of the passage II. Corinthians 12:9-10 where Paul is assured that God’s power is made perfect in weakness. And he exclaims triumphantly, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (NIV) And that was encouragement. God never discourages, but I think He allows us to feel that way so we’ll turn to Him, and when we asks, He encourages.

Then, my daily reading ended up in one of my favorite Psalms, Psalm 84, where it says: “How blessed is the man whose strength is in You, In whose heart are the highways to Zion! Passing through the valley of Baca they make it a spring; The early rain also covers it with blessings.” (vv.5-6, NASB) The strength I find is not in me, it’s in Him, and in my heart are the highways, or the desire of pilgrimage, to the place where He wants me. The blessings will flow, the strength will come, and this valley of tears (which is what “Baca” may mean) will become a place of peace and a resource of comfort for me and for others in the future. That’s what it’s all about.