Monday, November 22, 2010

A Pilgrim's Thanksgiving

My family is having Thanksgiving dinner here. I’m having Thanksgiving dinner here. I’m not jealous. Really. *Please sense the sarcasm.*

Our base is having a Thanksgiving dinner program and my students are preparing a skit to present during the dinner. I won’t give it away for all you SA readers, but I’ll just say it includes some very hip pilgrims.

Do you know what a pilgrim is? The dictionary says it is someone who journeys or travels in foreign lands, especially for religious reasons. Do you know that God calls us pilgrims? See this post for more on that. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is a special promise for pilgrims:

“Blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
Whose heart is set on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baca (weeping),
They make it a spring;
The rain also covers it with pools.
They go from strength to strength.” (Psalm 84:5-7)

How beautiful is that? He will make our Valley of Baca or our place of weeping a spring.

During the first six months of this year, this place was to me a Valley of Baca. I was burnt out and exhausted physically, spiritually, and emotionally and was just looking for the quickest way out. When I went home in July, I told everyone I was quitting at the end of the year. I even packed up a bunch of my stuff and left it at home, confident I’d be leaving SA for good in December. But God had other plans. I can honestly say that in the last six months God has turned things around. He changed situations that looked hopeless to me. He brought people into my life to support me and walk with me. And He restored my joy. Since I committed to return here next year, I have really experienced Him taking me from strength to strength.

He made my Valley of Baca into a spring. So that’s what this pilgrim is thankful for this Thanksgiving. How about you?

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