“What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord,
who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
When they walk through the Valley of Weeping,
it will become a place of refreshing springs.
The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings
They will continue to grow stronger,
and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem.” (Psalm 84:6).
When the psalmist penned these words, Jerusalem was the location where the presence of God dwelt. For us, the presence of God is not in a physical location, but is in us, with us, around us, and always available. He is always present to us, but we are not always present to Him. For us, setting our minds on Jerusalem means to learn to be mindful of the ever-presence of God. It means to make it our determined purpose to be always aware of and open to His continual activity.
Having set our minds on this pilgrimage—to move from self-centered living to Godward living—we will be making this journey through the Valley of Weeping. Earth and time are not our home. We are strangers and aliens here. Our home is eternity. So, don’t be surprised that earth’s landscape is often unfriendly. We were made for another biosphere, and we will never be fully assimilated to our earthly environment. The traversing of this terrain will always include tears and sorrow along the way.
God never promises that you will not walk in the Valley of Weeping, but rather He promises that, for you, the Valley of Weeping will be transformed into a place of refreshing springs. The presence of God makes the wasteland a garden.
“He also turns deserts into pools of water,
the dry land into springs of water” (Psalm 107:35).
“Springs will gush forth in the wilderness,
and streams will water the wasteland.
The parched ground will become a pool,
and springs of water will satisfy the thirsty land.
Marsh grass and reeds and rushes will flourish
where desert jackals once lived” (Isaiah 35:6-7).
Father, I am not at home here. I am passing through. Your presence is my only destination, and “all my springs of joy are in you” (Psalm 87:7 NASB95)
“Transiency is stamped on all our possessions, occupations, and delights. We have the hunger for eternity in our souls, the thought of eternity in our hearts, the destination for eternity written on our inmost being, and the need to ally ourselves with eternity proclaimed by the most short-lived trifles of time. Either these things will be the blessing or the curse of our lives. Which do you mean that they shall be for you?”