Thursday, October 19, 2006

Labour and Tears and Blessings

By a dear friend, Claire Alexander~Ezra Connection

On Tuesday our thoughts on Psalm 23:4 turned to the knowledge of Gods presence with us, even when we are walking through the valley of the shadow. I remember having someone point out that this was not the valley of death, but of the "shadow" of death, which for some reason may compound our fears even more than death itself. Sometimes fears overcome me, and I find at those times the consolation of memorized Scripture verses assures me of Gods tender care, as does the hug of a dear friend enfolding us in the arms of the Good Shepherd.

The thought of this valley brought another to mind--the valley of Baca, mentioned in Psalm 84:6Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well. Nowadays we can look up online Spurgeons Treasury of David, or what is known as R. A. Torreys Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, although it was written by several authors 200 years ago. Such helps describe another valley of trials and doubts.

The interpretation that especially touches me says, "Baca is probably a large shrub, which the Arabs still call baca (see on 2 Sam. 5:23), and this valley, as Celsius observes, seems to be one embarrassed with [such] bushes and thorns, which could not be passed without labour and tears." As we have days of struggle onward on the pathway, we find that "no misery can be so great, no estate so barren, but a godly heart can make it a well, out of which to draw forth water of comfort."

O Lord, I find it so easy to complain on the journey. Help me to remember that You have walked this journey before me, and are with me in my need. Teach my heart to choose to be thankful, and to find ways to turn painful labour and tears into springs of water that will bring comfort to others.

Psalm 84:6 (New International Version)Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society6 As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools [or, blessings].

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