Blessed are those whose strength is in you [God],
whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baka,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
Psalm 84:5-6, NIV*
Psalm 84 is a homesick heart’s cry to be near to God in His house—the Israelites’ Tabernacle, or maybe the Temple itself. It’s one of those psalms many of us know well.
This time I read it, the word pilgrimage caught my notice. From the context, the psalmist is probably writing of a literal journey.
For me reading it today, it resonates in a different way. Christians, with the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, are told that our bodies are the temple of God. We’re not on pilgrimage to God’s Temple, but we’re on pilgrimage with God through our days.
Yes, “this world is not our home, we’re just passing through,” but we’re to pass through attentively, compassionately. Like Jesus did.
We’re not to ignore our surroundings or our neighbours’ pain, but to spread His blessings to others. On our own, we can’t do much, but God’s strength in and through us can make a difference in the lives around us.
Violet Nesdoly shares more thoughts on pilgrimage at Other Food: Daily Devo’s.
Father, grant us hearts set on pilgrimage with You, knowing we’re bound for Heaven but charged with spreading Your light while we’re here. Help us find our strength in You, and let us leave each day a little better than we found it. Because of Jesus.
Matt Redman’s song, “Better is One Day,” comes from Psalm 84.