“Behind the Pages” can be found at the end of Susan May Warren’s book “When I Fall in Love”:
“So often, in the Christian life, when things don’t turn out our as we hope or expect, we feel robbed. . . Frankly, God promises us challenges, so we shouldn’t be surprised when they happen. But how, then, do we cope? Psalm 84:5-7 offers answers:
“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baka,they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength,till each appears before God in Zion.”
“Pilgrimage. The journey…through life, towards heaven. God offers us refreshment in the desert, and places of strength along the way. What if our happiness isn’t only in what is ahead of us…but in embracing the now? In enjoying the moments God has given us, even in the midst of suffering? What if we lived with a mindset of rejoicing in the strength, the springs of today…in order to bear the desert of tomorrow? Perhaps the annoying vices of our loved ones might not be so frustrating. Perhaps our faith wouldn’t seem so starved.”
A word about the cultural reference to the Valley of Baka:
Apparently, the Valley of Baka is likely a symbolic place meaning “a desert place”, “the valley of tears”, “the valley of weeping” or even “the valley of suffering”. So, for those whose strength is in the Lord, as they walk through this life and suffering and tears come their way, God promises they will be strengthened each time they pass through those valleys until they appear before God. I don’t know about you, but that concept encourages me. James said it this way in Chapter 1 verses 3-4, “. . . the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect (mature) and complete, lacking in nothing.” (NASB)
We may not “feel” strong, or even as if we are being strengthen. In fact, I daresay most of us feel pretty weak, pitiful and maybe completely shattered during the fiery trials of life. But miraculously we somehow find ourselves stronger after we’ve passed through the fire, because, of course, the Holy Spirit quietly went about His work within while our distracted and overwhelmed hearts and minds struggled to simply trust and obey.