For our 20th wedding anniversary, Brad and I celebrated by taking a trip to several cities. We painstakingly plotted touring strategies in order to see the sites, view the views, eat the foods, experience the local charms, and soak in the unfamiliar cultures as best we could. Each city boasted different personalities and attractions, but one thing was consistent about our approach in every location: we climbed to high places.
And. We. Climbed.
We climbed and we climbed… thousands of steps. I kid you not! We climbed creaky, dusty, windy staircases in old cathedrals and up small steps in tall buildings. We climbed fancy-schmancy staircases in opulent castles, up ancient stone staircases in an arena, up earthen lava trails on the sides of a dormant volcano and up steep, grassy paths on scenic hills.
Every ascent was both an adventure and a challenge. The rewards of each strenuous climb, however, were breath-taking views that gave us a bigger picture of the locations we were visiting. We saw beauty and grandeur. We gained clarity and focus. We got fresh perspectives.
Have you ever looked out an airplane window and viewed the world from above the clouds?
Have you ever soaked in the majesty of mountains or climbed to the top of a lighthouse?
High places are incredible. They’re humbling because they show how small we are in light of this grand earth… and in light of the massive galaxy that echoes the wonder of our Creator.
God is El Elyon, the Lord Most High. The highest of all things high! The psalmist said it this way, “How awesome is the Lord Most High, the great King over all the earth.” (Psalm 47:2)
God is all-knowing, all-powerful, glorious, and full of splendor.
So, how should knowing this – and knowing Him – affect our day-to-day views?
Our perspectives change when we look up and climb to the sacred chambers of the Most High God. Think about the way your mindset changes when you get a fresh perspective. Maybe you have a few heart burdens or disappointments that are keeping you from high views. We all find ourselves discouraged at times.
Psalm 123:1-2 says, “To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens! Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he has mercy upon us” (ESV).
The Hebrew word for “lift” is nasa’ meaning, “to lift, bear up, carry, take.” So, when we look up, bear up, carry up and take up our concerns to God His mercy meets with us.
God meets us with mercy because He loves us.
Yes… we still have challenges, and they weigh us down. But our burdens shouldn’t keep us from climbing to high places – to the highest place – but they often do. They keep us from experiencing the mercy and help of God as they consume our mind with low and discouraging thoughts.
How can we connect our low or average life places to God’s highest place… to the place of His grace… His power… His provision… His love… His forgiveness… His rest?
We can ask God for help.
We can be still before Him, confess our sins, remember that He is God and we are not.
We can ask Him for the courage we need to move forward in His strength.
When Brad and I wanted to get a better view, we climbed. We took step after step until we reached the top and each climb met us with a beautiful reward. The distance between low living and the high places we’re invited to experience in Christ will only change if we climb.
Dear Lord, You are the Most High God! Help me to climb beyond my discouragements and challenges toward Your provision and help. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE
What barrier or burden is keeping you from finding a better view?
Read Psalm 47 and write a prayer of response in your journal.