Thursday, October 24, 2013

Taking The High Road

Deuteronomy 32:13
New International Version (NIV)
13 He made him ride on the heights of the land
    and fed him with the fruit of the fields.
He nourished him with honey from the rock,
    and with oil from the flinty crag,

Isaiah 58:14
King James Version (KJV)
14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

Psalm 18:3
English Standard Version (ESV)
3 I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
    and I am saved from my enemies.
“This hill though high I covent ascend;
The difficulty will not me offend;
For I perceive the way of life lies here.
Come, pluck up, heart; let's neither faint nor fear. ” 
― John Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress

I was reminded of the hymn, "Higher Ground," tonight.  I uploaded a version of it by the lovely singer, Claire Holley, to Youtube; but it's been some time since doing so and a long time since I last listened.  It was good to hear it again, since I'm so prone to do what's easy.  I once went hiking in the mountains with my then very small nephew who decided halfway up a switchback trail that he had had enough.  He sat down by the side of the trail and refused with firm resolve to go no further.  As I was pleading with him, a group of hikers stopped on the way and embarrassed him by their comments.   I don't think he felt as cute as they thought he looked.  He decided on his own to get up and finish the hike, discovering the fortitude he didn't know he had.  I love the memory of that hike.  My nephew is a grown man now with a wife and children and has never not made me proud of him.  As tempting as it is to give up, we all must still press on; and sometimes a little child shall lead us.  
'Higher Ground" - Claire Holley
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.”
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.
My heart has no desire to stay
Where doubts arise and fears dismay;
Though some may dwell where those abound,
My prayer, my aim, is higher ground.
I want to live above the world,
Though 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 heav’n I’ve found,
“Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”

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