A blessed life is not a life without heartache, a blessed life is what you allow yourself to learn through the hard times. How you let those heart aches mold and shape you.
“As they pass through the Valley of Baka, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools.” The Valley of Baka, translated as the Valley of Tears, was an actual place near the city of Jericho. It was the only passageway into Israel’s Cities of Refuge and some scholars speculate it was also the only way that led up to the city of Jerusalem where the temple of God was found. It was desert country, filled with thorns, wild animals, pitfalls, and obstacles of all kinds. To tread this treacherous valley reduced weary travelers to tears, thus the name it was given. The only hope of getting through the valley were the pools that held the rains and even those were often few and far between.
The beauty of this seemingly abstract scripture is that we all pass through the Valley of Tears in our own lives. For some of us, our whole lives feel like one big journey through the dessert wastelands and we wonder if we’ll ever make it through to the other side. We may feel tempted to give up or give in to the tempting thoughts that tell us what God has promised will never happen, or that because of our choices we’ve damaged our lives beyond repair. The good news for us who place our trust in Christ is that times of refreshing will come as we pass through this Valley. (Acts 3:19) But we cannot wait for breakthrough. We do not just sit idle and hope this time of suffering passes us by. No, we keep walking forward and do our part to turn our times of sorrow and pain into wells from which we can draw on the waters of spiritual maturity and growth. We don’t do this by giving up when those times of heart ache come, we do this by digging our own wells. Wells that catch the rain of refreshing, but also deeper wells, that tap into the water that is already inside us lying concealed beneath the surface of our sometimes wayward and distrusting hearts.
If we are in Christ, He is in us a spring of living water (Jer. 2:13) To sustain ourselves as we walk through the Valley of Tears, we must dig. And it is in the digging, the searching, the pressing in where we grow. The blessing is not necessarily in the release of heartache or a life without it. The blessing is in how we’re strengthened through the process. The blessing is His presence. The blessing is Him. “Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.” Achor means trouble. What we consider trouble, chaos and calamity, God calls a door of Hope. A gateway into His presence. Our troubles and hardships give us a reason to dig down deep into Him. He wastes nothing and uses it all for our good, and more importantly, for His glory.