When our fourth child was a newborn, I would drag myself out of bed to feed her in the early morning hours. In the dark and quiet, I would wait with expectation to hear it—the first chirp of a bird. Immediately, the air would be filled with an answer from all the other birds. It was a magical moment.
In those days, just 18 months after burying our third child, my heart felt ripped to shreds. The full force of grief continued to hit me. I would sit there, holding my precious baby, yet crying for the child I so desperately missed. In many ways, my life felt like the middle of a never-ending night. But God was using the birds to awaken me.
I had spent a lot of time surviving, going through the motions. And while surviving is a natural response to grief, I didn’t want to get stuck there. In spite of my empty heart, I longed to hope again. It wasn’t easy. Life and loss demand a delicate tension. We hold hope and sorrow together.
Nestled in the middle of Psalm 84 is this verse: “When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs. The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings” (Psalm 84:6, NLT). If anyone knew about suffering, it was God’s people. The Old Testament is full of stories of how they fought, failed, stumbled, and grieved. Yet God is a God of redemption. He took their tears and turned them into blessing.
None of us is exempt from the Valley of Weeping, from the deep weight of loss. But we aren’t meant to barely survive this one life we’ve been given. We have been created to thrive. As we sift through our grief and sorrow, we slowly find a way to rebuild, to discover we can hold on to the hope Jesus hands us.
You may only see a dry valley for now, but your tears of sorrow are not wasted. Cling to hope and watch the pools of blessing unfold. The dark night will give way to a beautiful birdsong, ushering in a new day.