God helps place our lives on higher ground

By Joan Clayton: PNT Religion Columnist

Many references to the word “ground” are recorded in the Bible. I find it fascinating that the Lord formed man of the “dust of the ground.” (Genesis 2:7). He breathed the breath of life into Adam and he became a living soul. It’s humbling to know that when our earthly journey is over God removes our life-giving breath and we return to dust.

Out of the ground the Lord made “every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.” (Genesis 2:9)
God formed “every beast of the field and every fowl of the air out of the ground.” (Genesis 2:19)

As a result of the fall of man, God told Adam that until he died and returned to the ground he would have to work by the sweat of his brow. “For dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” (Genesis 3:19)

Abel’s blood cried out to the Lord from the ground in Genesis 4:10.

The Israelites passed over dry ground when the Red Sea parted. (Joshua 3:17)

Sadly, the Bible even tells us the world can get so wicked the very ground will eject its inhabitants. (Leviticus 18:25)
In Bible times the ground was allowed to “rest” every seven years: “But in the seventh year shall be a Sabbath of rest unto the land, a Sabbath for the Lord: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard” (Leviticus 25:4)

People lived long in Bible times. The ground provided food in its natural state. No pesticides or preservatives existed. God supplied everything they needed.

Think about the people wandering for 40 years in the wilderness because they murmured and complained. Yet, “Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these 40 years” (Deuteronomy 8:4 NIV).

After my first plane ride, I was more than happy to plant my feet on solid ground.

My grandmother’s favorite hymn was “Higher Ground.”
I am so glad that God painted the ground brown. Any other color would not seem right. Don’t you love to smell the ground after a rain? I love to dig in the ground and smell it. What the sandbox is to children is what gardening is to me. Something about the ground attracts me. I think it’s because the very God who created us also created everything we would ever need in this physical life.

We could not survive without the ground. Our very existence depends on the food and those who produce it.

Our youngest granddaughter at age 6 wrote to her Daddy: “I feel safe when you’re around and I thank the Lord for putting you on the ground.” I’m with Kallie. I’m so thankful God put me on the ground too. I would have not known that “life can be delicious!” I would not have known “the way a man and a woman fall in love.” (Proverbs 30:19 NCV).

Most of all, I would have never known love in its highest form, from a loving God who sacrificed his only son.
Be “rooted and grounded “ today in his love. (Ephesians 3:17)

When I think about the many wonderful feats God has provided for our existence I am overcome with gratitude and I think of Exodus 3:8 when God talked to Moses: “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” We are to approach God with respect, honor and reverence. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords. We come to him with sincerity and overwhelming gratitude for what he has done in all of our lives.

We stand on “holy ground” when we live our lives in repentance, obedience, keep his commandments and realize what an awesome God he is!

Stand on holy ground today!

Joan Clayton is a retired teacher and religion writer living in Portales.