When they walk through the Valley of Weeping (Baca), it will become a place of refreshing springs. The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings. Psalm 84:6 NLT
We passed through many towns along the way, but we didn’t plan to stay in any of them.
During the four years I attended college, my family lived in the Florida panhandle. Although we had an apartment and established residency there, we didn’t plan to stay once I graduated. We were only passing through.
Twice each year, we planned a trip to Greenwood, SC, to see our parents. My college town had no major interstate nearby, so our journey home took us along secondary highways. We passed through many small towns. Though beautiful, we didn’t plan to stay in any of these towns.
When I graduated, we moved back to Greenwood. We planned to stay there only until my first church called me to pastor. Yet, we didn’t plan to live in the town where that church was located forever—or in any of the other towns where I pastored churches. They were just stopping points along life’s way.
And so the psalmist said of the places the pilgrim passed through on their way to worship at the Lord’s house in Jerusalem. On the way, they passed through the Valley of Baca, or weeping, but joy came when they reached God’s house. The Lord’s strength assured they’d arrive safely.
Life is a journey—a temporary one. I often plan as if I’ll remain here forever, but I know better. Even if the Lord blesses me with many years, they pass swiftly … more so as I age. As I get older, I’m more aware of death and the fragility of life. I focus more on the lasting things than on the things that bring temporary joy.
Trials accompany me on this journey, as they have on my travels from one church to another and from one job to another. They are a part of life. For the weary pilgrim going to Jerusalem, God’s strength assured they’d arrive safely. And the same holds true in life. No matter the trial—no matter its intensity or texture—the strength of God carries us through when we set our mind on Him.
We should take life’s journey with eternity in mind, focusing on the things and adventures that thieves cannot steal, that moths cannot eat, and that the elements of nature cannot destroy.
Enjoy the journey, but remember where your final stopping place is.
Prayer: Father, remind us this life is merely a journey to our eternity with You.
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