Finding Strength When Hope is Deferred
Founder, Refined Family
Kerry Tittle is a mother of 10 children and an 20+-year homeschool veteran. She is the founder of Refined Family. Her desire is to honor Christ while comforting others with the comfort she has received from the Lord.
Oftentimes, the most celebrated holiday can feel like anything but the happiest time of the year. This year the Lord has revealed more hurting hearts to me than Christmas cheer.
But maybe the hardest part for me is being so heavy laden in my own struggles that I don’t know how to help the ones I love.
During airline flights we are instructed to place the oxygen mask over our own mouth before assisting others. I find this is true when our spiritual cabin loses pressure also. We don’t have masks drop and dangle in front of us……but we do have promises constantly within reach. And we must bank on and trust these promises before we can be of much real help to anyone else.
In Psalm 84, like other Psalms of Ascent, we find pilgrims making their journey to Jerusalem.
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.
The word Baca can be translated as “weeping”. This valley was no doubt arid, barren and miserable, but they go from strength to strength. How can weary travelers find strength in such times of despondency?
They found their strength the same way we need to find our strength during a heavy season. They are renewed by focusing on where they were heading, what Hebrews calls “the joy that is set before them” rather than on their current circumstances. They were on their way to the city of God – Jerusalem – and to experiencing his comforting presence in a special way.
That’s easier said than done….I know. Taking our eyes off of the pain that screams for our attention is a supernatural thing. But the Lord offers grace – the type of grace that you can’t store up for tomorrow but a grace that is offered anew each day.
Weary pilgrims, we too are on a journey. We already have access to the special presence of God in a way that those pilgrims could not have imagined in the person of his indwelling Holy Spirit. We must learn to press into Him more and more.
But even that miraculous gift is not the final joy set before us because we are on our way to the New Jerusalem where God will dwell among us and wipe every tear from our eyes.
Each time we are tempted to grow weary and turn back we must instead press on with the grace that He has given us and focus on the joy that is to come.