Digging Deep Beyond the Pain…
How enriched are they who find their strength in the Lord; within their hearts are the highways of holiness! Even when their paths wind through the dark valley of tears, they dig deep to find a pleasant pool where others find only pain. He gives to them a brook of blessing filled from the rain of an outpouring. They grow stronger and stronger with every step forward, and the God of all gods will appear before them in Zion. Hear my cry, O God of Heaven’s Armies! God of Jacob, listen to my loving prayer…..Pause in his presence – —Psalm 84:5-8 (TPT)
This passage touches me deeply. I go back to it often, and have gone back to it over many years. It’s a beautifully articulated few verses in any translation, but I find it particularly moving in The Passion Translation (seen here).
One thing that stands out to me – amongst many – is that the writer seems to be on a journey. They are passing THROUGH the valley of tears, not camping there. They are on the “highways of holiness” just slowly moving along, and not staying put in their sorrow.
What conviction grips my heart when I hear of others who carry grief and pain, and yet choose to slowly-but-surely move past it.
The second thing to note is that they DIG DEEP to find pleasant places. I adore how The Passion Translation words this next part: “…they dig deep to find a pleasant pool where others find only pain.”
Once again, the writer obviously has made a CHOICE to not just sit in their pain. The writer understands that there will be a valley of tears, a time of darkness, and often some intense pain. But this is just for a season, and while he is in that season he is choosing to dig deep and build “brooks of blessing.” As he digs those brooks of blessing there is a great outpouring that occurs!
The last thing that I noticed here is that with every step forward, with every choice to move on and begin to dig deep, the person GROWS STRONGER AND STRONGER.
They have God before them, and it even says that He APPEARS to them! Through their pain and grief, the person makes choices to push through, dig deep and even bless others – and he grows stronger and gets to have special encounters with God along the way.
Gosh, he had me at special encounters with God! That’s the very thing that satisfies and brings joy in the pain.
May we be like the writers of this Psalm, the “sons of Korah” who understood that – as verse 11 says – “No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly” (NKJV).
Pause in His Presence now and think on these things.
— Mandy Woodhouse