“How blessed is the man whose strength is in You, In whose heart are the highways to Zion! Passing through the valley of Baca they make it a spring; The early rain also covers it with blessings. They go from strength to strength, Every one of them appears before God in Zion,” (Psalm 84:5–7, NASB95).
So much attention is given to our need to find strength within ourselves in order to navigate life’s, often unanticipated, troubles. We are told that we possess all that is necessary to stand against the various crises that life throws at us. Unfortunately, this is a lie. It’s only when we look outside ourselves that we find the strength we need.
This song tells us that the truly blessed are those whose strength is supplied by, and completely rests on, God Himself. They have learned, by life’s realities, that their own strength is entirely inadequate, and fails to sustain them in difficulty and trial. When we look to the Lord to supply us with the strength we need, not only does He fill it, but He also plants in us a deep, abiding affection for Him as our Father. Only when we humble ourselves and look to God to supply our strength, does the path to Him open, and His presence becomes our deepest desire.
The valley of Baca does not refer to a geographical location, but it’s a place we are all familiar with. It literally means valley of weeping, or valley of tears. It refers to those times when our grief, and sense of powerlessness become so overwhelming that we can hardly stand on our own two feet. But, during life’s darkest moments, God’s very presence can transform them into a well of refreshment that floods our souls with true joy.
The fruit of the Spirit–love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control can be summed up as the strength God supplies in the Holy Spirit. The full armor of God in Ephesians 6, is made available to us in the strength God supplies. Facing our own weaknesses opens our eyes to our dependence on God’s strength, and in our weakness we are the most useful for His purposes.
My hope is built on nothing less that Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name… Rock of ages, cleft for me; Let me hide myself in Thee.