Reflections on Refreshment From Psalm 84 – Tip#6

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Tip # 6 – Bring Your Tears as an Offering

“As they pass through the Valley of Bacca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools.” (Psalm 84:6) What is the Valley of Bacca? Commentators on this Psalm tell us that the Valley of Bacca refers to the Valley of tears, or the valley of weeping. How is it possible to find refreshment in the valley of weeping?

Several years ago now, as I was writing Finding Calm in Life’s Chaos, my husband Steve and I were walking through many trials, and I felt as though I was literally in the valley of weeping. Tears flowed every day. I remember asking God, “when will I stop crying?” A wise woman told me, “Becky, don’t try to stop crying. Let the tears flow. There are things in life worth crying over. Instead of trying to stop the flood of tears, worship through your weeping.” In other words, bring your tears as an offering.

When we think of worship, we often think of offering up happy songs of praise. We forget that to worship God involves bowing the pain in our lives and offering our tears as a sacrifice. Worship never involves denying our pain. God knows and understands our pain. He invites us to feel, cry and lament during the painful times of our lives. As a little girl, crying came very easily for me, in fact, it still does! Over and over as a child, I was told, “Stop crying.” That message was not from God. Jesus said, “Blessed are those that mourn.” (Matthew 5:4) In Rewriting Your Emotional Script, I wrote about how important it is for us to grieve our losses. This is what Jesus taught. He not only taught us to weep He modeled weeping. (John 11:35) When we grieve authentically, our tears become a cleansing mechanism and our emotional wounds are healed.

During the years when I was crying every day, my “weeping couch” became very precious to me. Every morning, I began my day on my knees, praising God. Often I played worship music. Part of my worship, was my weeping. I offered my tears to the Lord. I prayed, “Lord, life feels so horrible right now. The pain feels too deep and too dark. But, Lord I offer up this pain to you. Take it and use it somehow for your glory. Lord, I give you the ashes of my life please, make something beautiful out of this mess.” God more than answered my prayer. He brought beauty and continues to bring beauty out of the pain I experienced. My tears drenched my couch cushion and eventually formed a stain. That stain became a beautiful reminder that God cares about my tears. (Psalm 56:8) He receives them as an offering of worship and meets me with His comfort. As I offer up my tears, my Valley of Bacca becomes a place of blessing.

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