From Strength to Strength

For some, it seems like it’s one thing after another.

Sick kids, flat tire, laid-off parent, dead pet, bad back, etc., etc. (And that’s putting it mildly.)

I was reading about a pilgrimage in Psalm 84. The sojourners were on their way to a heavenly city. But they had to pass through the Valley of Baca. Baca is described as a desert place of “adversity.” It is literally translated as the Valley of Tears.

Many of us know that place – where hope goes a-missing, circumstances don’t change, and isolation, frustration and despair seem to rule the day. We start our journeys strong. Naturally, we lose steam as the road gets long and the sun beats down. We have parched spirits, tired feet and weary hearts.

The travelers in the Psalm are said to go from strength to strength. Instead of getting weaker as they journey, they get stronger and stronger – even while passing through the valley of weeping. The pilgrims – because their strength is in the Lord – are able to make the desolate valley a place of springs, in which God sends early autumn rains.

As mothers, we have to be strong by definition. We have to be advocates, and “warriors”, and “mama bears.” We have to be doctors, and therapists and teachers.

My motherhood story is only five years long, and it’s clear to me that I cannot do this in my own strength. No use in even trying.

To get to the other side… to reach the promise, I do not want to just go from one struggle to the next, I want to go from strength to strength. Brave in the face of each new trial because God is for me and with me.

The Psalm 84 pilgrims demonstrated that those who look to Him to be their strength are not only sustained, but empowered as they pass through the valley.

 

Our kids are getting stronger and stronger. I look at my girl – she’s moving slow, but she’s learning. She’s growing.

She’s showing me that in going from strength to strength, there is always the element of progress.

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11 thoughts on “From Strength to Strength

  1. My mother loved that psalm! She related it to her journey with her own health and illness, but for me it resonates (as for you) with the motherhood journey.

    “Blessed are those whose strength is in God,
    who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.”

  2. Amen! In the Esther study that I am in Beth Moore closed last week with the Scripture, “They that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength…” Isaiah 40:31 God had revealed to her heart that our strength is renewed when we are waiting upon HIM; not a milestone, event, person to come through, etc. Those other things, if we shift our focus to them, can drain our strength as we wait. But when we wait “on the Lord’ our strength is renewed.

    This truth really hit home for me last week and your post brought it to mind. We are able to go from strength to strength only in Him.

    As always, you are a blessing in my life!

  3. “Many of us know that place – where hope goes a-missing, circumstances don’t change, and isolation, frustration and despair seem to rule the day.”

    Yes this is where I am. Send a map!

    I needed to read this today. Thank you, Beautiful Girl with the Beautiful Smile.

  4. Jeneil, your post struck such a chord within me. About a year ago, I was writing through a migraine, just sitting at the computer with tears streaming down my cheeks, wanting to curl up in my bed. The Lord gave me Psalm 84 to encourage me.

    How right you are–and how true it is–that we can only journey from strength to strength in the Lord, not in our own steam. And I love that we “go from strength to strength till each appears before God in Zion” (v. 7)!

    Our journey is leading us ever closer to our eternal destination, and thanks be to God for refreshing us along the way!

    Praying His richest blessings upon you and upon our fellow pilgrims!

  5. Whew….. I needed that.

    I know you read my post this morning… the day started good. But as we went, it got more trying and I just felt myself going down this path of bitterness that I need not (you know, why me…i want to rip my hair out… etc..).

    Psalm 84 will be my Quiet Time tomorrow. I need to learn that lesson again.

    Thank you for your faithfulness to THIS mission field!!!

  6. This is awesome! We need to go from strength to strength, don’t we? Just a couple of months ago, I read a commentary on this Valley of Baca. What I thought was cool was that it says that you “pass through” the Valley of Baca. The commentator said that we’re not meant to make residence there. This author said that every time we make our “pass through” the Valley of Baca and we get out on the other side, we are able to tell the devil that we have “increased in victorious power.” With strength to strength, we can make it THROUGH it. We won’t get weary and set up permanent camp there. I’ll see you on the trail, and I sure will throw a party with you when we get to the other side! http://www.scribd.com/doc/2172047/The-Valley-of-Baca

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