Turning Your Desert into a Spring

Have you ever hit a dry place in your walk with Christ? Maybe you've had some awesome moments of worship in the past, some spurts of spiritual growth, a few mountaintop highs . . . but you've reached a low point where it seems your prayers aren't hitting the ceiling. Or maybe you're too low to even voice a prayer. Maybe you're in the Valley of Baca.

Traveling Through the Valley of Baca

Psalm 84 refers to the Valley of Baca—the valley of "weeping." This valley was an arid desert place on the way to Jerusalem (the place of peace).

Psalm 84 was sung as a praise song for those making the pilgrimage to Jerusalem to worship in the temple. My ESV Study Bible footnote says:

"The purpose of singing this Psalm is to cultivate that delight, to open the eyes and hearts of God's people to the staggering privilege of being a welcome guest in God's own house and to write deep into their souls the conviction that wickedness offers no reward that can even remotely compare to the joy and pleasure of God's own house."

I love how Scripture often combines poetic, symbolic language with literal narrative. We can find principles to apply to our lives now in the symbolic metaphors, and there are lessons we can learn from the literal historic events.

Finding Refreshment in the Desert

As God's people made pilgrimages to the temple in Jerusalem, they went through an arid region known as the Valley of Baca. But they made it a place of springs (v. 6). They refreshed themselves—even in the desert.


I believe the key to finding refreshment in the Valley of Baca is found in the second verse of the Psalm:

"My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God."

I've traveled through a desert place many times. Sometimes I've been stuck there for weeks. There is no more miserable place for a believer than wanting to sense God's presence but feeling lifeless and abandoned.

We may feel abandoned, but God never leaves or forsakes His own. We may feel lifeless, but He's not a liar, and He doesn't take back what He gives.

Singing for Joy to the Living God

You may be longing—even fainting—to sense God working . . . but you're seeing nothing. Take to heart this instruction: Sing for joy to the living God.

Something supernatural happens when we're in the hard places of despair, and we sing to Him. I can't explain it, but it's a literal turning of my heart.

Move beyond what you sense and feel, beyond the parched desert, and make a spring of refreshment by literally singing praise to the living God.

You may not be a singer. It doesn't matter. Crank up the car stereo. Plug in your iPod. Lift up a song of praise to God. Something supernatural happens when we're in the hard places of despair, and we sing to Him. I can't explain it, but it's a literal turning of my heart. A surge of joy occurs when I start singing out notes of true worship to Him.

My heart and soul are refreshed, and I'm ready to plunge back into the journey. I'm strengthened to tackle what lies ahead, and so were the pilgrims traveling to Jerusalem:

"They go from strength to strength" (v. 7).

Are you needing some strength and refreshment today? How about pausing now to sing your favorite worship song back to Him?

About the Author

Kimberly Wagner

Kimberly Wagner

Kimberly Wagner is the author of Fierce Women: The Power of a Soft Warrior and is a frequent guest on Revive Our Hearts radio program, as well as a regular contributor to the blog. Kimberly's passion is Christ and she … read more …

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