Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools. - Psalms 84:5-6
The valley of Baca is also known as the valley of sorrow or tears. It reminds us of hard times, trials, and dark places. As Christians, we are very familiar with the valleys. As one old preacher said, the Christian walk is full of valleys. You're either in a valley, have just come through a valley, or are about to walk into a valley. It's a discouraging thought if we dwell on it, but the purpose of the valley is not to discourage us. The purpose is to make us stronger.
We talked about this a few days ago, how tribulation worketh patience and so on. The valleys are designed to bring us closer to God. It is during those times that God often strips us of everything we've come to depend on so that we can be reminded that He is all we need. He brings us down to a place that is so low that we have nowhere else to go but up. At the time, it seems cruel and unfair, but if you'll look back, I think you'll agree that some of the times you've felt closest to the Lord were in the midst of a valley.
There's another reason for valleys. Not only are they designed to make us stronger in our faith and relationship with Christ, but they also help us to help others. I'm reminded of a gospel song that says, "God's prepared me for such a time as this." That's where the latter part of the passage above comes into play. When we go through a valley, we don't need to sit down and give ourselves a pity party. The passage in Psalms says that we have a work to do. We need to dig a well. Why? For others to partake of when it's their turn to come through the valley.
In the midst of our trials, it's tempting to think that we're the only ones who suffer. During that time, we often fail to realize that someone is coming into the valley right behind us. Our job is not only to get ourselves through, but to offer aid to the one coming behind us. Dig a well. A well of encouragement. A well of experience. A well that says, "I can help you through this because I've been here before."
There will be valleys. There's no getting around it. The question is, how will we handle those valleys? Will we give up, plop down on the ground, and give in to our tears, or will we walk through the valley with God at our side, digging wells along the way to help others who may come behind us? The valley can kill us or change us. The choice is ours.