PSALM 84 continued...
It's too good to not have another slice...
"How lovely are Your dwelling places,
O Lord of hosts!
"How blessed are those who dwell in Your house!
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.
They go from strength to strength,
Every one of them appears
before God in Zion."
This life is a journey. It's where we are headed that counts and the joy we can squeeze out of each day as we go step by step towards our Zion, strength to strength. We are on the highway to heaven, the highway of holiness. This valley of weeping, of Baca that represents the captivity of Babylon is not the last word. Even salty tears can turn such a valley into a spring. Without the early rain, there's no covering of green, of blessings. Some may despair of rain, when it actually can bring blessings.
On our trip to Tennessee, it rained often. It did not bother us because the land was a luscious green everywhere we looked, as far as we could see, every hue, every shade of green. The only brown in sight was a plowed field here and there ready to yield its green growth, a promise of what was to be. May that be the kind of journey we are on, one that takes the tears of Baca as a hope of watering of what will come.
They go from strength o strength. I must admit I'm a couch or rather a recliner potato. My exercise plan, as I've said before, is to get up and let the dog out, get up and let the dog in. So when a couple of sights on our trip required a mile and a half walk, I only hoped I could make it. I'm so proud that my dog exercise stood me in good stead because I made it easily with no muscle soreness (except when I slid, and tripped, and rolled down one hill but was relieved that I could stop before the cliff. While I had a good belly laugh at myself stop, drop, and rolling, my husband was aghast imagining picking me up off the remote path and carrying a broken me to find an E.R. God is good, and I had no such injuries, only a tendency to break out in a chortle at the memory of my stumble.) Strength to strength with only a little stumble in between, picking myself up, dusting myself off, hitching my jeans back up and going onward .
I read Anne Graham's daily devotional online. In her most recent post, she reminded us of the apostle John isolation on the island of Patmos in his last years. How he might have longed for the Temple or the fellowship of believers. Yet, he gave us, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, The Book of Revelation. His longing was fulfilled in the presence of God Himself allowing us the glimpse into what is to come, our Zion, the joys of heaven. She asked what was our Patmos? Whether it is young mothers feeling alone in their homes or a hostile work environment, whatever circumstances we find ourselves isolated in, God is there taking our Baca, our weeping, our being stranded on an island, using it as a spring of glory.
This is a glorious yard in Hilton, Virginia, a place so isolated, it's off the map,
a green luscious lawn with the wide ribbon of river in the background.
(Nobody was home here, but it's okay, the man at the market said,
"Nobody's goin' shoot you here for poking around.")
"How blessed is the man..
In whose heart are the highways to Zion!"
What's in your heart?