“Lead me to a rock that is high above me.” Psalm 61:2
They say that life isn’t lived on the mountaintop, but in the valley. I get it; nobody’s life is a perpetual high. Life is tough. The valleys represent the trials, and it is in those that our faith really grows.
I just think that sometimes we give the valley too much control. Truth be told, some of us might even like it down there. In the valley, no one expects much of us. In the valley, we can stay dry and thirsty. In the valley, depression is a trusted friend.
What we sometimes forget to see in the valley is that there is always higher ground. But we don’t just stumble upon it. In Psalm 61, David went looking for it. He didn’t ask God to set it underneath him as he slept, or to carry him there; he recognized that it was a climb he had to take himself, with God as his guide.
The landscape of life doesn’t often miraculously change. Most of the time, we have to leave the valley and climb the mountain with Jesus if we want to see transfiguration (See Mark 9).
So maybe life doesn’t have to be lived in the valley, after all. If there’s a rock high above me that Jesus can lead me to, then that’s where I want to go. Until the day I die, the call of the valley may be strong, but Jesus’ promise of higher ground is stronger.
I haven’t thought of the old hymn, “Higher Ground,” in a long time. Come to think of it, I didn’t give it much thought back when I sang it out of the hymnal in church when I was growing up, either. But maybe that’s because, back then, I thought I was already on the mountaintop. The lyrics somehow mean more now that I know I’m still looking up. Maybe they will for you, too.
I’m pressing on the upward way
New heights I’m gaining every day
Still praying as I onward bound
“Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”
Lord, lift me up and let me stand
By faith on heaven’s table land
A higher plane than I have found
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.
My heart has no desire to stay
Where doubts arise and fears dismay
Tho’ some may dwell where these
My prayer, my aim is higher ground.
I want to live above the world
Tho’ satan’s darts at me are hurled
For faith has caught the joyful sound
The song of saints on higher ground.
I want to scale the utmost height
And catch a gleam of glory bright
But still I’ll pray till heaven I’ve found
“Lord, lead me on to higher ground.”