"But Deborah Rebekah's nurse died, and she was buried beneath Bethel under an oak: and the name of it was called 'Allown Bakuwth ." - Genesis 35:8
"Allown Bakuwth" is literally "The Oak of Weeping," a place dedicated to the sorrow in losing someone close to the family of Jacob. We read nothing else of Deborah but we see that she was a much-loved part of Jacob's clan, and that it was good to make a place to remember the sorrow acquainted with the loss, and to meditate upon the meaning of that sorrow.
I think that Christians may have their own "Allown Bakuwth" where they stop and ponder - and weep - over incidents in their lives that have affected them deeply. These memories - though highly emotional - serve as an important part of the Believer. Is it wrong to grieve? No. In fact, it is a necessary part of our well-being as humans.
I stop and reflect upon the intense memories of my life and set up my "Allown Bakuwth":
- As a college student, cleaning a university classroom during my midnight job and weeping at the loss of my two Russian great-grandparents, both Believers. I still miss them today.Why is it good to reflect? I remember what powerful Christians my immigrant great-grandparents were, and how they started a deep heritage of Believers within our family. I should continue that heritage.
- As a child, feeling the horrendous trauma of a messy divorce of my parents. I still grieve over that terrible memory. Why is it good to reflect? I realize the importance of a strong family and consistent parenting; I commit myself to being a faithful father and husband.
- As a youth pastor, standing at the gravesite of one of the dear members of our congregation in Hollister, California, and weeping at the loss of ninety-year old Virgil, a beloved elder.Why is it good to reflect? Virgil maintained a vibrant, cheerful Christian testimony (how he loved the Lord!) and raised a wonderful family of Believers that continued for generations. Even through his battle with cancer, he exuded a faith and a love for Jesus that impressed all those around him. Although I weep in my memory of his passing, I am reminded of the value of a committed walk with God to help us through trials as well as show others the joy of the Lord.
In all of the above memories, the most important thing I learned is that it is dependence upon God the Father that gave the ultimate victory.
Sometimes it's good for us to stop and recall bad memories, so that they may help us better understand the power of a close walk with the Savior.
Dear God, please grant us the ability to set up "Allown Bakuwth" in our lives for the purpose of maturing while more deeply relying upon You.
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