|Posted by ruthsmithmeyer-com on May 18, 2013 at 9:25 AM|
In our morning worship time we read from Psalm 84:
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.
They will continue to grow stronger,
and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem.
This past week has held what seems to be more than its share of valleys of weeping. Monday when the news of the bombing in Boston broke, I was deeply concerned, for one of my dear friends was running in that marathon and her husband had gone along to cheer her on. I feared for their safety and waited with bated breath and fervent prayer to hear from them. I prayed for those who were hurt, whether my friends were among them or not. I prayed for the families of the hurt and the dead. I prayed for the children who saw atrocities they never should have had to witness. And, yes, I also prayed for the perpetrators, that God would speak to their hearts and help them to realize the great wrong they had committed and please God, that they would have at least one moment that they could see and realize that God is a God of love. Even after I had heard that my friends were safe and well, my prayers continued, through the mayhem of the search, more deaths and the finding of the 19 year-old whose life also has changed forever. My prayers will continue still for the long-lasting effects on the many people and even a city, that the valley of weeping may become a place of refreshing springs—a place to grow stronger. I pray that many may become more aware of their need of God through this.
A day later, the catastrophic explosion in Texas, just a few miles from where my sister lives, brought similar empathy, emotions and more prayer for the families who in a moment lost loved ones and homes—whose lives will be changed forever, whose children will live with realities and horror that no children should not have to witness. This is yet another valley of weeping . And I pray that many may find springs in the desert and moments of realization that God loves them and will be their place of safety if they turn to him.
Next came the news of the earthquake in China—more families whose loved ones were buried. What panic they must feel as they search for them through the rubble. Surely, they need our prayers too, as they go through this valley of weeping, adjust, rebuild and learn to live without the things and people they lost. I pray they, too, will grow stronger and that God will appear to them and clothe them in blessing.
Perhaps last week’s happenings helped us keep things in perspective when early this week we found out that the tumor in my husband’s spine has grown upward to the L-7 level. In our heads, we knew we could be weeping. However we have learned through this journey with cancer that the valleys of weeping indeed do hold refreshing springs and places to grow stronger. We don’t know what lies ahead, but we know who walks with us through the valleys and we have already experienced the marvels and miracles of his love—his clothing of blessing. So we are at peace and walk in the knowledge that there will be more of those ahead as we walk hand in hand with our Maker. There is no other way we’d rather walk.