If you’ve ever been to a college campus something quickly becomes quite obvious: there are places where they didn’t build a sidewalk but they should have. Students (and faculty…I’m guilty) have created well-worn paths to favorite destinations. Grass grows everywhere but on these paths. No one has to tell an incoming freshman to walk there–she just does.

Our hearts are the same way. In our hearts are well-worn paths; oft-traveled roads to anticipated destinations. The psalmist knew this.

Blessed are those who strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.

Psalm 85:5, ESV

Zion, or Jerusalem, was God’s holy city on whose hill stood the temple of God. In that temple was the holy of holies where God’s glory dwelt. The old hymn says, “We’re marching to Zion, beautiful, beautiful Zion.” To go to Zion meant to run to God. To go to Zion meant to offer sacrifices for sins committed, or to offer praise for prayers answered.

Where are the well-worn paths in your life? Where do you travel without even thinking about it? Is Worry your Highway 70 when life unravels? Do you sip your coffee at Control Coffee Shop? Is the Fear Factory your favorite place to shop? Do you frequent the Complaining Confectionary when problems are many and solutions few? Is Guilt Grocery your favorite corner store?

When your oft-traveled destination is God, the unusual occurs.

As they go through the Valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion.

Psalm 68:6-7, ESV

When your destination is Zion, even the Valley of Baca (the Valley of Tears) becomes a place of springs. We all travel through the Valley of Baca. You cannot avoid tear-filled days and anxious nights. The cancer diagnosis. The car accident. The disappointing child. The bickering coworker. Unmet expectations. More bills than money. More money than happiness. The question is where you will come out on the other side. If in your heart are the highways to Zion, you will go from strength, through tears, to strength. And in between, your tears will become springs. Strangely enough others will drink their fill from your salty tears and never taste the salt.

And you can be sure you have a traveling companion. God goes with you, giving you all you need for all you face.

No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.

Psalm 84:11


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