When I was young, my family owned a cottage that my grandpa had built in northern Michigan. The property had woods right behind it and my sister, brother and I would spend our days exploring the woods. We named different trails in woods based on landmarks or where they would lead us out of the woods. One of our favorite paths to take was a trail that lead out to a road that had a pond on the left side. We liked stopping by the pond because there were always frogs and ducks and other creatures hanging around it. I discovered a small little area off the side of the road right across from the pond where there was a little creek that flowed gently over and around some rocks. It was surrounded by wild flowers and was tucked away in the woods. After I discovered this spot, I would go there just to think and relax because it was so quiet; this was my little private corner in the world. Even as an adult, I occasionally think back to that little creek and the peace I felt there. As I have grown in my walk with God, I've discovered that when I seek His presence there is a love and peace that I experience greater than what that little spot was like to me. The sons of Korah wrote a psalm that expresses how wonderful it is to be in God's presence and how we should be seeking to be there. Please use the link and read Psalm 84.
The sons of Korah wrote that God's dwelling place was the best place to be and the ones who were there were blessed. Something I want to remind you from yesterday's post is the reality that when we are in God's dwelling place, we are experiencing His love. It is His love that sustains us when we remember that the physical places here on this earth are not really where our hearts settle, our hearts find peace when we settle in God's love. This psalm so beautifully expresses the amazing strength and joy we find in His dwelling. You can see how the Sons of Korah understood that is what our hearts are longing for - God created us to need to be with Him. Oh, what a blessing it is when we understand that is why nothing on earth can fully satisfy us because we can then turn to the only One who can truly quench that thirst.
One verse really stuck out at me in this psalm: "As they pass through the Valley of Baka, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools." (Psalm 84:6 NIV) I was very curious about the Valley of Baka and as I researched I found a very helpful article on YouVersion. The article explained that this valley was a place that travelers had to go through in order to get to the Cities of Refuge in the hills of Israel. It was a desert valley full of thorns and aside from travelers walking through, this was also a place where people fled when running away from pursuers. This was a difficult valley because the springs of water were few and far between and the name, Valley of Baka, actually means "valley of tears." The article listed several people who made the journey into Baka, such as Moses, Abraham, Hagar, Job, and David. These people were shown the springs of water provided by God's rain to satisfy their thirst. Isn't that amazing! We are told that when we go through the valleys of difficulty seeking God, we will make it a place of springs. Even in the difficulties of life, we will find refreshment when we seek our Creator.
Other beautiful promises we are told is that when we seek God, we will travel from strength to strength (verse 7), God is our sun and shield (vs 11), He will bestow His favor on us (vs 11), He will not withhold any good thing (vs 11), and we will receive joy (vs 12). What incredible promises given for those who seek to dwell in His presence! This really is the best place to be. How true it is when the authors expressed, "Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere..." (vs 10).
Do you seek God's dwelling place? Do you believe there is nothing here on earth that can satisfy us the way God can?
This post is linked with Soli Deo Gloria.