I don’t know who chose the song. It was probably Debbie. As soon as the song started I knew I needed its words and by the second verse it went straight to my heart to crumble my resistance to what God wanted to do. It was saying the very thing I desperately wanted…what I was seeking…what I needed…what I HAD to have…but what I had been too afraid to ask for in prayer…
”My heart has no desire to stay where doubts arise and fears dismay.
Tho’ some may dwell where these abound, My prayer, my aim is higher
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.
Lord, lift me up and let me stand, By faith on heaven’s tableland;
A higher plane than I have found, Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”
As I sang it was like all the roads I had traveled in the past five years converged into one that day. The One that had whispered “higher,” “more,” and “prayer” off and on in the past two years gathered my wonderings and promised to lead me to higher ground…. if I was willing.
There He stood ahead of me, calling me with the motion of His hand. I leaned to look past Him and saw the path. It was narrow and you could not see where it was going, but it had a small, steady incline that wasn’t too steep, but yet it was noticeable.
His smile said there was nothing to fear, but He raised His eyebrows as if to question my willingness. I looked behind me. I knew where I had come from since we had started on this path. It was down the road a bit behind me. We would climb and then stop for a while…sometimes a long while as lessons were learned and slips occurred.
The path sometimes dipped into a valley and the darkness there seemed thick, making it hard to breathe. It was hard to see Him in that place. At times I thought He had left. Other times my hope was renewed as I heard His quiet singing far away yet near by. It seemed like we were there forever and my heart begged to move on… but… we stayed in the darkness while the He taught.
It wasn’t hard to go when He beckoned me onward from that place. We climbed into light and brilliant colors. What a joyful place, what a wonder of grace, what amazing heights! The view of the valley we left was breath taking…it looked so different from up here. I surveyed the land below. It wasn’t hard to notice that I would have never experienced this view if we had not come from the valley.
This new place felt close to heaven. I ran. I jumped. I laughed. He taught and I saw the wonder of His works. Settling there was not hard. I could stay forever. But over time, something strange happened in that wonderful, busy place…my heart stopped yearning for more…for higher…for Him. In fact…where is He?
That is when I turned and saw Him in front of the inclined path. I saw the smile and the lift of the questioning brows. “Come?”
How can I not go? How can I stay knowing there is always a “higher place” to walk with Him? And besides…I can hear the singing…the singing of those He has taken further. Their songs proclaim that the upward journey is worth the climb…worth the valley…worth the walk… because it is a journey with HIM.
He turns to go. I run and grab His hand. We are headed for higher ground.