God desires to meet us on higher ground, on that plane where we are above the trials of this life. But the reality is, we cannot escape those times that lay us low with concerns and problems.
I have noticed that living life happens a little easier in the daytime. When night comes, my body begins its aching ritual, coupled with regrets from a day that may not have been so productive. The darkness of night can be a time of despondency, when all the cares of life descend on you in the dark. For some people, when the sun goes down, their hope sets with it, and they feel night’s loneliness. And yet, for others, the night brings a refreshing respite from the workings of the day. The world gets quieter and there is finally some time for spiritual contemplation. Those who experiences the stillness of the night in this way are truly blessed.
They feel no fear of the darkness, no sense of being alone, no dread that the night might bring its terrors, no fear that sleep will not come, no belief that the night will be for them a dark night of the soul. Instead, they greet the night sky with hopeful anticipation of quietly being refreshed and re-created. That kind of night is described beautifully by the words of Bishop Steven Charleston.
In the stillness of the night I listen. I listen for the distant sound of quiet voices, all praying in their own way, in their own words, from a need I can recognize, speaking softly in the endless dialects of our human lament, our hope and our ambition, the prayers strung like lanterns against the darkness . . . each honest soul a religion of one, bent but not broken.
If you listen, you can hear it in the night . . .
The truth is that God’s comfort is available to us night and day, whenever our problems overtake us and stop us in our tracks. We need just to be still, to stand before God.
So come stand over here, just a step or two beyond the place you have occupied for so long, where you have worn the earth smooth with your pacing, where you have spent so many hours fighting the problem you cannot seem to solve. Take a break. Catch your breath. Come stand here, where you can catch a freshening breeze and see far into the valley below. Let the distant clouds carry your worry for a while, see how the sun empties the world of shadow. The answer you seek may be just a step beyond, a higher place where the view is clear of all obstructions. (Charleston)
It is my prayer that, in the midst of your pain, God will meet you on higher ground.
You may enjoy hearing the hymn “Higher Ground” at this link: