The Valley of Baka
A Christmas devotion by Libby Simkins
Life can be hard. I don’t know about you, but I have days when I really struggle. In many ways this whole year has been one big struggle and as it comes to an end, I feel weary, and unsettled; unsure of what next year will bring. As a Christian what do I do with all these feelings?
In Psalm 84, the Psalmist uses the Valley of Baka to symbolically describe these tough times in life. The valley of Baka was most likely a real place, a dry, arid valley that weary travellers would pass through on their way to Jerusalem. Baka is the Hebrew word for weeping and refers to the type of weeping tree that grows in these landscapes.
I identify with the weariness of this traveller trudging through a barren, weeping landscape, tired, disheartened and longing for refreshment.
But the Psalm is not without hope. It encourages us that we are just passing through the valley of Baka, our time there is not permanent and that even whilst there, it can become a place of springs.
Even in the bleakest of times, when we choose to come to God with all our sorrow and sadness and even anger, He can refresh us and revive us and provide all we need for the journey ahead.
So this Christmas, if you feel like you are in the valley of Baka, don’t struggle on alone. Take it all to the one who made you and who loves you with an everlasting love. Let him restore, renew and refresh you for the year ahead.
“… for those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint”. Isaiah 40 v 31.