“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. As they go through the Valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion.” (Psalm 84:5–7, ESV)
If the Valley of Baca is a literal place, scholars have yet to identify it. Baca means weeping. The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge says there’s a bush that Arabs still call baca that’s full of thorns and can only be passed with tears. Zion refers to Jerusalem, specifically the City of David and the Temple Mount. Zion is a mountain and refers to the place of God’s presence and blessing. A valley is a low place and the Valley of Baca, whether literal or figurative, is on the highway to Zion, a highway that runs through the hearts of those whose strength is in the Lord.
Perhaps you find yourself walking through a valley of tears today. Difficulty and disappointment have marked your steps. Longing and loss have been your path. The thorns of Adam’s curse have brought a painful futility to your labors. Yet the highway to Zion is in your heart, so you walk on through this valley clinging to a hope that clings to you.
Your very movement through this valley is redemptive. As you pass through, your tears become springs and rains and pools. With each step strength comes; strength grows.
And though this path seems long, it is not forever. This path leads to the mountain, the place where God’s glory dwells. His strength will carry you there step by step, tear by tear.