Words from the Heart for Sunday July 9th, 2017
What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord, who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs. The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings.
Psalm 84:5-6 (NLT)
Something wonderful awaits us when we receive strength from the Lord to keep going forward despite all the trouble. We can not only “make it through” but, we can also gain something wonderful in that Valley of Weeping. It can become for us a place of refreshing instead of heartache. What an added blessing!
The United States has Ellis Island as the former immigration arrival centre in New York harbour. Canada has a similar centre called Pier 21 in Halifax. Pier 21 was an ocean liner terminal and immigration shed that opened in 1928 and closed its doors in 1971. The former immigration facility is now the home of the Canadian Museum of Immigration, as well as the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design as well as art studios and retail businesses. The Pier was the primary point of entry for over one million immigrants and refugees from Europe and elsewhere, as well as the departure point for 496,000 military personal Canadian troops during World War II. The facility became known informally as the ‘Gateway to Canada’ and was known as a place of great joy as immigrants arrived safely in their new country.
Parades are held to celebrate something and they are always joyful. When the people of Israel wanted to celebrate they held a parade that wound its way up to Jerusalem. It was a loud, celebratory march that reached its crescendo upon arrival at the Holy City. To get there, many had to travel through the arid wilderness of southern Israel. This is the traditional site of the valley of the Shadow of Death. The sons of Korah captured the beauty of this march of praise in Psalm 84:5-6: “What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord, who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs. The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings.” The people of Israel loved Jerusalem. It was there that they would worship the living God who tabernacled among them. This is a Psalm of testimony. There is a miracle in the journey. As the people travel to worship, God provides all they need for the journey. What a beautiful illustration of our journey with Jesus. We are becoming more and more like Him, and in spite of living in a needy world, Jesus provides the refreshing we need to live victoriously.
These have been words from the heart.