The Valley of Baca

How lovely is your dwelling place,
O LORD of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, faints
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and flesh sing for joy

to the living God.

Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O LORD of hosts,
my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house,
ever singing your praise! Selah

(Psalm 84:1-4, ESV)

Our souls were made for God and only He can satisfy them. Whether we realize it or not, we long for God. We may fill the desire for God with earthly pursuits, good and bad, but at the end of the day we are still left longing for God. The Psalmists say that “even the sparrow” finds a home in God’s house. If they do, so should you. When God’s presence becomes your dwelling place you will be blessed.
The word blessed at a minimum means happy, to its fullest extent means satisfied.
Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
in whose hearts are the highway to Zion. (verse 5)

Highways cover the map of every human heart.

Highways to possessions. Highways to relationships. Highways to bank accounts. Highways to addictions. Highways to acceptance. Every human heart has deep roads to oft-traveled destinations. If you want to be satisfied, if you want to be happy, your heart must have an often traveled highway to God.
As they go through the valley of Baca,
they make it a place of springs.
The early rain also covers it with pools. (verse 6)
This is the only time in Scripture the valley of Baca is mentioned. Scholars can only guess its location. Its meaning however is clear. Baca means tears. The valley of Baca is the valley of tears.

The highway to the heart of God sometimes travels through the valley of tears.

Sometimes the detour of disappointment brings a flood of tears. At times the difficulties of death, of unexpected divorce, of unbelievable diagnoses, bring us to our knees. It is in these times that well-worn paths to God become life-giving. Rather than being cesspools of disappointment, the tears become springs of hope. They are early rains promising a later harvest.
If you’re in the Valley of Baca today, don’t lose sight of Zion. Stay on the well-worn highway to the presence of God. Go from “strength to strength.” Don’t be afraid to ask God to “hear your prayer” and “look on your face.” (verse 8) God does not lose sight of you–even though you cannot see Him. Claim the promises and restate the affirmations of the Psalmists:
For a day in your courts is better
than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
the LORD bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold
from those who walk uprightly.
O LORD of hosts,
blessed is the one who trusts in you! (Psalm 84:10-12, ESV)