“When I Fall in Love” by Susan May Warren, includes “Behind the Pages” which is found at the back of the book. Here’s what the author wants you and I to know:
“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.”
**The Valley of Baka is thought to be a symbolic place meaning “a desert place”, “the valley of tears”, “the valley of weeping” or even “the valley of suffering”.
I don’t know about you, but the idea that we grow in strength with each successive trial encourages me. We begin each new trial from a position of greater strength than the last trial. We may grow physically weaker as we age, but grow spiritually stronger as our faith is refined. 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 incredibly weak during the fiery trials of life. Yet after we emerge from the trial we are often surprised to find ourselves stronger precisely because we’ve passed through the fire. In the fire the Holy Spirit quietly accomplished His supernatural work while our distracted and overwhelmed hearts and minds struggled to simply trust and obey.