Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.
Definition of PILGRIMAGE
1: a journey of a pilgrim; especially: one to a shrine or a sacred place as an act of religious devotion… a journey, esp. a long one,
2: the course of life on earth
For those who have followed my blog and know of my story you may remember that my mother was a war bride from England. She was the mother I never knew because she died when I was only 6 months old. As a child I would often cry myself to sleep, weeping for my mother. I needed a mother to comfort me, to hold me, to tell me I was loved and wanted…..I went to bed each night with a longing and an emptiness…..and a dream….someday I was going to go to England, to see the country of her birth.
And now in my 50’s my lifelong dream of visiting the UK is finally coming to fruition.
20 some years ago I was at a Women’s conference when the Lord gave me these verses in Psalm 84.
I sensed in my spirit that these verses were a promise for me. God was making a covenant with me, this was my inheritance. God was going to do a work in my life, I needed to trust Him. And throughout the years these verses have come back to me, usually at a pivotal point in my life. I find myself remembering and reflecting on them once more as I prepare for this trip to the UK.
When the Lord first gave me these verses I had no idea that my journey of healing was about to begin. “Journey” implies a starting place, a place one leaves, and a destination…that place to which one goes.
Looking back I have seen the weaving of God’s hand upon my life. His healing is a thread that has been woven into my life, my journey of healing.
It was Debbie Milam who said: “When we embrace the many parts of our experience we discover a magnificent creation. . . Every moment is but a thread, a thread of consciousness embracing the very essence of life. Some threads are brilliant and dazzling while others are tattered and torn. When looked upon in isolation the tattered threads look inferior. Yet when woven together by the wondrous hands of the Creator, the light magically blends with the dark. As joy coalesces with pain, God creates the magnificent tapestry that is life.”
The tapestry of my life continues to be woven. In preparing for this trip I have looked back at the entire tapestry of my life, and I can see that every aspect of my journey was necessary and needed. Each step of my journey led to a new place, even though the steps often felt like obstacles or painful experiences.
A pilgrimage can be described as a journey, set apart because of its reflective nature. It is a journey of movement, a journey of attentiveness, a journey hoped to transform. A pilgrimage cannot be embarked upon without a willingness to follow the path as it unfolds. This is what I sense in my spirit as I embark on this trip.
Psalm 84 speaks of one’s yearning for God’s dwelling place; could it be that the temple might come to mean for us a search for our heart’s full dwelling in His presence?
This is much more than just a sightseeing tour of the UK. One can physically move themselves around the world and never set their heart on a journey towards His dwelling, just as one can remain physically at home and yet set their heart on pilgrimage.
Psalm 84 reminds me that I am not on pilgrimage to God’s temple, but I am on pilgrimage with God.This Psalm assures me that if I understand that God himself is my strength and if I set my heart on allowing Him to carry me in my journey, in my pilgrimage, then I am blessed indeed!! It is an adventure of magnitude, of significance, of love.
His love is a glorious thread that is woven throughout the Word of God, and finds it’s fulfillment through Jesus Christ in our hearts. When Jesus takes hold of our lives the entire fabric of our being is changed. I don’t accomplish anything in this life on my own….as the weavings of individual threads from one to another creates something; the result is a whole tapestry…as God weaves the threads into the fabric of our lives, He creates a beautiful tapestry.
Little did I know that the tattered and broken little girl who cried herself to sleep every night would set her heart on pilgrimage when she heard the wooing of Her heavenly Father. Little did I know she would respond to the longing in her heart and learn to rest beneath the shadow of His wings.
Our lifelong journey is our pilgrimage toward the fulfillment of our inheritance that God Himself has given to us.
Do you, my friends, know what God’s inheritance is for you? Have you gone back to the place of covenant, the very place where God covenanted with you?
I am excited to see what God has for me in this next journey of my life, this next adventure. I know that this trip to the UK is the next part of my pilgrimage and I am trusting my Heavenly Father as He continues to weave the threads of healing and wholeness in my life….stay tuned….I’ll share the adventure when I get back!!