Changing Tears to Joy


If you’re familiar with the ‘valley of tears’ (Valley of Baka) then you’re a pilgrim on the human journey.  Psalm 84 (to follow) opens some refreshing and reinvigorating insights.  We are equipped to ‘pass through’ this valley rather than set up camp there.

Psalm 84:

1 How lovely is your dwelling place, LORD Almighty!
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.
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.
7 They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.
8 Hear my prayer, LORD God Almighty; listen to me, God of Jacob.
9 Look on our shield, O God; look with favor on your anointed one.
10 Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.
12 LORD Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you.
Some insights to help your journey:
Vs. 1-2  Where we ‘dwell’ is critical!  All of our senses know they are only at home in the place God has beautifully created for us to dwell with Him.  Even our natural, rational selves grow weary and faint from walking in the chaotic, stress-filled external world around us.  What we perceive as frustration is very often a yearning to reconnect with God’s life within.
Scientific discovering of Quantum Physics has discovered that where we ‘dwell’ (focus the attention of our thoughts, imagination, and emotions) literally impacts our external lives and experiences.
V. 3 
God’s dwelling place is one with the inner world of our hearts.  It is a holy and exalted sacred space.  However, it is also inviting and loving enough where the ‘sparrows’ of ourselves are warmly welcome.  I believe the writers of the Psalm are expressing themselves in more than poetic form.  They are describing what they literally have observed.  Although this verse can be easily glossed over, it is important to ponder the homey reality, and allow it to shed light on the reality of God’s heart and desire for a dwelling relationship with us.
Vs. 4-5
Blessed:  The Hebrew word was often used as an excited exclamation that includes many ideas.  The ‘blessed’ person is being proclaimed as one whose life experiences are advancing and transforming in quality.  How Happy is also an accurate way to translate it.  It is also always in plural form and is more accurately expressed as ‘What a life of happinesses!’  -or- ‘How Blessed is!’
The life of happiness is a result of intentionally focusing one’s energy on resting their thoughts, imaginations, and emotions on what God says is yours in Him.  Several years ago, I had been praying (and fretting) over something.  He asked me what it would look like if my prayer happened.  I then chose to see and feel that in my heart.  I was actually shocked at how fast it happened.  Sometimes it takes time because of issues involved, but very often where we ‘dwell’ manifests quickly.  Actually, it’s happening all of the time, anyway.  Unfortunately, we are contributing more than we realize to the negative things that manifest around us.
‘Whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.’  It is important to desire positive movement with God.  To experience more of the desire God already has in His heart for us, it is important to always have an attitude of advancement in His life and ways.  Keep on asking, seeking, and knocking on the ‘doors’ that open into greater truth.
I didn’t say, “learning more religious doctrines.”  I said greater truth as it reveals God’s desire for discovering His abundant life.
V. 6
We are meant to ‘pass through’ Baka (tears), not set up camp.  We also have the power through Jesus and the way God designed His sons and daughters, to transform the sorrowful places into pools of refreshment.  We have a higher calling and ability than to allow the sorrow to be swept under the rug as we vamos’ out of there.  Sleeping dogs have a way of waking up at the most inconvenient times.  Our calling is to allow inner healing and transformation to be a part of the power of dwelling with Him.
Vs. 7
As we ‘dwell’, the design is to become a habit rather than a hobby.  We intentional work (even 5 minutes a day) at dwelling in our inner ‘secret place of the most high’ where we refashion, according to God’s purpose and desire, the life we live in externally.
Another way to put it would be in the words, “Delight yourself in the Lord (Dwell) and the things you desire will take shape in your life.” (Psalm 37:4)
It’s a process of transformational development that we must be intentional about.  By accident, it’s already happening for many people in the negative.  Just intentionally change your place of ‘dwelling’ to experience the states of happiness that God desires for our lives.
It’s the Inner Way of life.
Take the rest of the verse thoughts and allow them to unfold in your own heart.
Dwell = Being intentional regarding what and where you allow your thoughts to process.  It also includes intentionally adding the God-given ability ‘to see’ the answer with your imagination and feel it accomplished with your emotions.
Remember this is often a re-learning process.  As you put energy into practicing Godlike ‘dwelling’ as a new skill set, you will increasingly get better at it.
What do you want out of life?  What do you believe God wants out of your life (big and little picture)?  Have you actually ever put any energy into thinking, seeing, and feeling that?
The choice is yours.  Keep making it.  The potential of experiencing the abundant life (as it is important to you), and that Jesus already gave to you (but may be lying dormant) is in your court.  Nobody else can do it for us.
Gardens don’t plant themselves with beautiful flowers, and gardens don’t weed themselves.  That’s our responsibility.  It is what God originally told Adam about ‘taking dominion.’
Gary