He tells me in his little office that I should think about reading the Psalms.
“There’s a lot in there,” he says slowly, “and it seems to me that David has a lot to say. He expresses his wishes, his hurts, his pain.” He pauses. “And God doesn’t strike him down.”
He says all this to me after I tell him I have a hard time asking God for things. Feeling as if it’s a question of His plan. I leave his office and as I drive home in rush hour traffic, tears stream down my face and I do. I let my heart pour out like David’s did.
Days later, I am still devouring the Psalms. I’m paying attention to the patterns, the words. David says some wild things, crazy things. But he says a lot of beautiful things, too.
There is a Psalm that talks about a place called the Valley of Baca. A place that as they walk through, turns into a place of springs and pools of rain water. This valley, some say, was part of the journey to get to Jerusalem or to one of the cities of refuge. Dry, treacherous, dangerous – this valley needed to be walked through in order to get to where the Israelites were going. Some translations call the Valley of Baca the Valley of Weeping – and I am struck by these verses – how the Israelites had to literally walk through the valley of weeping to get to a place of safety and refuge.
David talks about how that valley of weeping is redeemed. How those who rest in the refuge of God find the dry valley filled with springs of water.
To be honest there have been times since that night in his office that I tell God I can’t do it. I can’t walk through sadness, and I can’t walk through pain, and I long for it fixed and made right. But He whispers, to my tired, reluctant soul –
“The Valley of Weeping is meant to be walked through.”
I am always so quick to push away pain. To wipe away tears. Feeling as if, the sooner I get to the other side the better.
But yet – it’s meant to be walked through.
And I sigh deeply, tears brimming – knowing He redeems each valley –
filling them with springs
and pools of water –
because even this is not far from His redemptive touch.