I was sitting in a wheelchair in the lobby of the hospital, waiting for the taxi to come. My shoulder was still swollen from the operation, and my entire arm was mottled with black and blue marks.
To top it off, it was raining, adding to my dark mood. Great! Rain! I thought. Just what I need!
Then my eyes turned to the plexiglass roof of the lobby entrance where raindrops were falling and collecting into little pools before running off the roof. The words the rains cover it with blessings popped into my mind, and in an instant, that Bible verse reframed my situation.
“Those who put their strength in [God] are truly happy […] As they pass through the Baca Valley, they make it a spring of water. Yes, the early rain covers it with blessings. They go from strength to strength.”1
Yes, I had slipped and fallen. Yes, I had broken seven bones in my upper arm. Yes, I now had a metal plate in my arm and two months of physiotherapy in front of me.
I’m going through the Baca Valley! It’s my time of testing.
The Bible’s Baca Valley was a literal place. It was a narrow, dry valley that the Jews had to travel through to get to Jerusalem to worship in their temple. The Hebrew word “baca” means “weeping,” and “the Baca Valley” has come to mean a difficult and sorrowful time.
What God is saying is that all those who experience sorrow—and who doesn’t?—can find strength through faith. Through keeping our eyes on Him and our hearts fixed on His Word, the Baca Valley becomes a different place. Instead of being a hard, dry valley of weeping and sorrow, He can make it a place of growth and abundance.
Life takes us through times of hardship and sufferings, but with faith in Jesus, these hard times can become steppingstones where we can “go from strength to strength.” We can face these difficulties knowing that the final outcome is bringing us closer to God.
As sojourners in this world, we can find our strength in God, which will enable us to persevere through sorrows and setbacks. The Baca Valley can turn into a spring of blessing through God’s grace empowering us.
The honk of the taxi startled me from my reverie. “On my way!” I yelled as I rolled my wheelchair towards the taxi stand with a smile.
“I’m going to make it through this!”
1. Psalm 84:5–7 CEB