People hurting. Minds warped. Hearts broken. Bodies fading. The pain in this world is literally everywhere I look. I cannot wake up without having to acknowledge that things don’t always make sense.
But no matter how many weeds grow, there are still beautiful flowers. In the midst of any desert, there is always water to be found. And even the most violent storms still bring new growth.
There have been a lot of weeds, barren moments, and violent storms in my world. But I don’t think I am alone in that regard. Everyone has times where life crashes down around us, leaving us wondering if we will ever be able to overcome. All of us have to face a moment (or several moments) of decision when we feel like running away and hiding.
It’s normal. It’s normal to feel like it’s all just too much.
Psalm 84 talks of a place called the “Valley of Baca”. The word baca literally means “weeping, tears, or misery.” Obviously anyone who has lived in this world can relate to that.
But if we look verses 5 and 6, it says, “Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. 6 As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
Pain, sorrow, sadness… they are all guarantees in this world. Baca can be a beautiful place. A place where everything is stripped away, life broken down to its very core. But that is when we are able to see clearly. We see who we are. We see our foundation. We begin to focus on the things that are truly important. And if we look, we see God in the Valley. It is truly beautiful to watch all the broken, shattered pieces of our life come together to form a gorgeous mosaic. As he puts us together little by little, we become the new creation, transformed into his image (2 Cor. 3:18).
The best part is, we don’t have to stay in the Valley of Baca forever. The Valley is not our home. It’s just a place to grow, to adventure through, to move on to greatness. By continuing on, allowing God to piece us together, bit by tiny bit, we see in Psalm 84:7 that we can “go from strength to strength [increasing in victorious power].”
And when that happens, we become a person that can lift others up in their time of need. We become a part of God’s artistic work. We become his hands creating beautiful tapestries and mosaics in the lives of those around us.
God is a master mess cleaner. No matter how deep the valley, no matter how big the mess we have made, no matter what we have been through, done or seen, He can leave us sparkling with a new spirit, a new passion for life, and a spring in our step.
I am publishing my book soon. It has been one of the most challenging things I have ever done. Being naked and vulnerable to an audience that I don’t know. Sharing things that might change people’s perception of me greatly. Being open and honest about my mess, my struggles, my Valley of Baca. But as I watch God continuously put the pieces together, I hope that my journey will be an inspiration, bringing hope and strength to those who read it. That it would reach out and put a few pieces together in someone else’s shattered, beautiful mosaic.
After all, isn’t that what we are here for? To bring beauty to others?
I hope that today you find the vulnerability to listen to someone who needs you without judgment, to share your Valley of Baca, and to change one person’s life and perception, even if only for a split second.
“Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of
feeling safe with a person, having neither to
weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring
them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain
together; certain that a faithful hand will take what
is worth keeping, and with the breath of kindness
blow the rest away.”