Highlands – Song Of Ascent

The words of this song were my comfort during the times of my heartache. Not long ago something unexpected happened that took me by surprise, I was asked to leave my job, I was fired. That same day when I was driving back home late in the evening, when this song played. I never actually heard the words but that day it was different. I felt each and every word, heard the words speaking to me directly.

O how high would I climb mountains
If the mountains were where You hide
O how far I’d scale the valleys
If You graced the other side

O how long have I chased rivers
From lowly seas to where they rise
Against the rush of grace descending
From the source of its supply

Lots of questions floated in my head and I simply couldn’t fathom the thought of being fired. Above all that, I couldn’t understand why God would let something bad happen to me. God gave me that job, and I knew he was giving me the strength to work in that place even though there were a lot of problems going on.

In the highlands and the heartache
You’re neither more or less inclined
I would search and stop at nothing
You’re just not that hard to find

And then came the chorus, I will praise you on the mountain and when the mountain’s in my way. I knew God was there next to me comforting me as the rod and the staff (Psalm 23:4). Even though I wouldn’t have given time to God, he was always there, faithful of his words, taking care of me, when I strayed or was led in the valley.

So I will praise You on the mountain
And I will praise You when the mountain’s in my way
You’re the summit where my feet are
So I will praise You in the valleys all the same
No less God within the shadows
No less faithful when the night leads me astray
You’re the heaven where my heart is
In the highlands and the heartache all the same

The earth and everything belonging to it are yours (Psalm 24:1). God is in control and I knew that. I have felt him being in control of my life, how he pulled me up from the miry clay that I was stuck in.

O how far beneath Your glory
Does Your kindness extend the path
From where Your feet rest on the sunrise
To where You sweep the sinner’s past

I also know how fast he would come running at just a glimpse of my trouble or heartache. Even though I felt like a failure that day, I knew God will trace my steps and walk me out the other side.

O how fast would You come running
If just to shadow me through the night
Trace my steps through all my failure
And walk me out the other side

My Good Shepherd was navigating my life just like he navigated it when I strayed and fell into sin. He was slain for me, his unexplainable love that he showed me at calvary.

For who could dare ascend that mountain
That valleyed hill called Calvary
But for the One I call Good Shepherd
Who like a lamb was slain for me

Then, a few days later, being in communion with him, he made it even clear to me that whatever it be, he is by my side, moving mountains which I could not even see and that he is all I need. (Psalm 121)

Whatever I walk through
Wherever I am
Your Name can move mountains
Wherever I stand
And if ever I walk through
The valley of death
I’ll sing through the shadows
My song of ascent

Often I would feel angry and frustrated about what happened, to the point of wanting harm for those who played back but God taught me that this is how the enemy would try to come after me and that I had to understand that I shouldn’t harbor hatred against anyone. The fight is not with humans but satan and the grace of God is enough to win the fight (2 Corinthians 12:9).

From the gravest of all valleys
Come the pastures we call grace
A mighty river flowing upwards
From a deep but empty grave

The most important thing is his grace that is abundantly flowing over me. He won over the enemy and is high and victorious ever since he rose up from that grave which now lies empty and gave us the river of grace where we now float. Be it the highlands or in the heartache, it is his grace that has carried me thus far and will forevermore.


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