Have you ever been homesick? That longing to be in your home surrounded by your stuff and sleeping on your own pillow in your own bed? Oh, there is nothing like sleeping in your own bed.
I love to travel. To see new things, meet new people and eat new food but no matter how much I love to travel, I love coming home even more.
Home is the best. It is a place that is safe and secure. A place where you can totally relax and be totally yourself. A place you are free to “be ugly” – no makeup on, in your sweats, bra off.
I woke up early in a beautiful hotel room this last year, longing for my own bed feeling a little homesick. No one else was up yet, so I grabbed my Bible and opened it up. I wandered around the familiar pages a bit until I came to Psalm 84: 1-7
1 How lovely is your dwelling place,
2 My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.
3 Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young—
a place near your altar,
Lord Almighty, my King and my God.
4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you.[c]
The Hebrew word translated “dwelling place” means an abiding place, a home. The psalmist is homesick for the abiding place of God. Not a temple to dress up for but a place to be real, to let your hair down, take your make up (and bra) off and relax. A home that even a small bird could find safe shelter in and feel secure enough to raise her young.
Then the psalmist seems to take a left turn:
5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
6 As they pass through the Valley of Baka,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.[d]
7 They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.
So, after the longing for the abiding place of God and declaring the great blessedness of those who dwell there, now he is talking about going on a pilgrimage and a journey through the Valley of Baka. What? What does this have to do with being in God’s abiding place?
What I found in researching this is that the Valley of Baka means the valley of weeping and that those who abide in the home of God have the strength to go through it. Not deny it, postpone it or distract themselves from it, but go through it.
A few observations about mourning from verses 5-7:
– It takes great strength to mourn (blessed are those who strength is in you)
– Mourning is a journey (a pilgrimage)
– It is a place to go through, not stay in ( go through the valley)
– with God, the place of weeping can become a place of refreshing.
– It takes strength to really deal with our emotions and it takes strength to continue to be real. (they go from strength to strength)
Christianity is not another way for you to escape your life or numb yourself to what is going on in your heart. Far from it, it is a turning and looking at and acknowledging all your life with the Holy Spirit. It is looking at your pain straight on, stepping down in the sunken living room of grief and feeling it. It is asking Jesus to show you why you are really angry, scared or hurt. You can do this because you are not alone to deal with it- He is with you. You are safe at home with Him.
From my journal that morning:
“As I go through the place of weeping, my home is in You.
The place where I can relax, be totally me without makeup, in my sweats. Bra off.
The safe place.
I can walk through the hardest thing in the safest place.
And somehow, as I walk through it with You, I will be refreshed.”
This is a journey of experiencing your life fully with Christ. All of it. The good, the awful, the real. It is about going through the valley of weeping with Jesus, taking the grief, the loss, the heartache, the hurt to Him and to the cross. Laying it there. Giving it to the One who paid the great cost of death and separation, of betrayal and revenge, taking It all upon Himself. He experienced death, so you and I could fully experience life. He was separated from the Father so that you and I could be connected with Him. His body was broken and He bore the weight of revenge, murder, abuse, and abandonment so that you and I could process them but not carry them – except to the cross.
This life with Christ isn’t about denying or escaping pain and pretending that everything is sunshine- on the contrary- it is dealing with the real terrible things that happen to us and through us with Him. It is living in full acknowledgment of the horrible things that destroy our lives, to see them, understand them as best we can, process the emotional residue it creates and seeing it all, knowing it all without denial or ignorance and taking it to the cross of Christ with Christ, to give to Christ because He has already paid for it.
Jesus said in John 15:4,
“Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you.”
He paid for this with his death and rose again to offer us a home.
Beloved, know that you have a home. A home here and a home for all eternity. A home with God, a home that is God.
His name is Jesus and He came to earth for the love of you.