Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Higher Ground"1 (Lyrics)
Psalm 63:1 – O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. (NIV)
The other night as I was cleaning the corral, I got such a laugh. I had just finished locking the animals in the stable because a lone wolf had been about again. Due to the long summer days and warm evenings, I left the top half of the door open to allow for air flow and to let the horses look out as they desired.
What I saw, however, as I glanced up, was not a horse but a goat. In her determination to see what was going on, Agnes had leapt atop the goat house beside the stable door. From this "higher ground", she was busily peering out and around the door frame. Trust goats to find a way to get what they want!
This incident gave me a good chuckle, but it also brought to mind the words of Johnson Oatman Jr.'s wonderful hymn, Higher Ground, which begins:
- I'm pressing on the upward way,
New heights I'm gaining every day;
Still praying as I'm onward bound,
"Lord, plant my feet on higher ground."
Singing this inspiring tune as I continued to rake prompted me to consider my position as a Christian. Even though I am retired and the majority of my earthly days are behind me, do I still earnestly seek God with all my heart? Does my soul truly thirst to know Him better? Does my body constantly long to do His will amidst a dry and weary land where so many have turned away from the living water of truth? Am I still pressing on the upward way? Is my prayer above all else still to have my spiritual feet planted on higher ground? Or have I become complacent, comfortable in my relationship with my Lord, perhaps even taking it for granted, feeling that there isn't much more to discover or much more that He has for me to do?
And yet, as I believe that the Holy Spirit reminded me, our God is eternal, never ending — a truth which means that we can never, ever, come to the end of knowing, growing in, and serving Him, no matter what our age or condition, a quest which, as I consider it, I am indeed committed to pursuing.
Prayer: Father God, thank You that we can never, ever, come to the end of knowing, growing in, and serving You. Bless us this day with hearts, wills, and minds that seek You above all else. Indeed, Lord, plant our feet on higher ground. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.