The Hebrew word bakah means “weeping,” and in Bible times there was a valley in Israel called by that name. Figuratively, the Valley of Baca is a place where all of us have been at some time or other. It’s a place of suffering, sorrow, hardship; a dry, dusty, desert place.
Psalm 84 brings out the beautiful thought that whenever we pass through such a place, we have an opportunity to turn that difficulty or disappointment, that sorrow or hardship, whatever it may be, into a blessing. “As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a spring. The rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength.”1
I’m reminded of a friend who has done just that. Some time ago, he became gravely ill. Although it looked like the end of his active, productive life, he turned his Valley of Baca into a great blessing. He “dug a well there,” and as a result, he has become an even greater encouragement to others. He let his “Baca” bring out the best in him; he transformed his “desert” into a beautiful place, by digging down into his heart and deep into God’s Word.
When you can stand on the promises of God and trust in His goodness, even in time of sorrow and distress, others will see your faith, and it will be to you and them as a well in a hard, dry, dusty place. That’s when your faith shines brightest: when it causes you to rise above difficulty.
We can find the strength to thrive despite our circumstances, because we have a loving, all-powerful God and all of His wonderful promises to sustain us. “In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”2 We are not to stay in that dry, desolate valley, nor are we to merely endure troubles. By drawing close to God and standing upon His Word, we find many divinely given living waters springing up.
It’s something to remember the next time you find yourself in the Valley of Baca.