Friday, September 11, 2009

Set on Pilgrimage

I have this battle I fight every day. Well, several, if you really want to know the truth. But lately, the most common battle is an ugly five letter word. Guilt.

It causes me to do things like try to explain why I haven't done something a certain way, or to apologize for not doing something I think I should have. I end up apologizing to my husband, my children, my friends, my God.

It makes me feel like I've messed up before I've even begun.

It nags me to the point of giving up, but I don't because the threat of failure is too great.

The tricky thing about it all, is that it doesn't seem like guilt. It seems like truth and conviction. It spurs me on to do it right, and to do it better. However, therein, lies the defeat.

The other day, feeling weary from this familiar battle, I came across this...or rather, I was led to this...

"Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
They go from strength to strength,
til each appears before God in Zion."

I immediately breathed in the comfort and peace He was longing to give me.

Then I looked up "Baca". The Valley of Baca was never an actual Valley, however the word means weeping. I don't know about you, but I've seen many a Valley of Baca. And I honestly think that much of my striving is an attempt to avoid ever having to enter another one.

But, oh, to have those springs. To have those beautiful autumn rains cover me with pools of strength. I could just sit in them forever, like a child swimming in a cool pool on the hottest day of summer, not wanting to get out, even when their lips are blue and their fingers are all shriveled up. But so often, I forsake the pool, for a cheap attempt to get their on my own.

We are each on this journey, and even though many days my heart is set on pilgrimage, sometimes it's strength is in me, not in Him. I'm so thankful that he reminds me that it is not up to me to be strong enough, and not for me to do it right or do it better. It is up to Him, to live through me, to be my strength and to lead me even through the Valleys of Baca. To go from "strength to strength" till I appear before God, full of His own glorious strength, and nothing left of me.

1 comment:

Hopefull said...

wow - I loved this - thank you!