All Other Ground

“All other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.” I recall hearing this as a child, when all five stanzas were sang. This portion of the hymn was sang with each stanza, which made for 10 times, more than any other phrase in the song. I didn’t know this hymn like others, that is until “all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.” I sang that loud and proud as though I knew every other portion of the hymn. There was an arousing, thunderous, booming, singing of that portion by everyone in the sanctuary. It was as though we were singing it as a reminder to not only the enemy, but more importantly ourselves, our innermost being and deliberately, our mind. It’s been years since I recalled that hymn. In our contemporary churches, we’ve lost the tradition of hymnal singing. During a recent family trip to the beach, as I marveled at God’s handiwork and specifically the sand, I recalled, “all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.” As I walked through the sand, experiencing it between my toes, considering the extent to which its properties manifest, one consistency was definitive, that no matter how much one plants themselves firmly, one will sink in sand.

As a child, sinking in sand was fun. Sliding and feeling a lost of control was exciting. As an adult, it ain’t cute! It’s messy. It’s grimy. It’s grainy. It represents a stark reminder of who we are without God. Sand is the offspring of weathered rock and decomposer. Over time, actually up to thousands of years, sand forms. Whatever we experience is likened to grains of sand. Our hurt, disappointment, dreams deferred, bitterness, betrayal, anger as well as joy, peace, expectation, love and assurance, each represented as the S.O.S. Band said, “sands of time.” On our best day we are fragile and unstable without the care of the Father. We can’t trust ourselves because we often act in the flesh and not through the Blood of Jesus. We can be disobedient, dismissive, deceptive and dirty. So what assists us from sinking? The essence of what sand is derived from, rock. There are over 30 verses of scripture that unfold the properties of sand, primarily referring to both sinking and the inability to count it. Yet there are over 50 verses about God being the Rock. It is no coincidence that there are more scriptures about rock than sand. As we navigate sand hardness, it is often difficult to feel as though we can handle the magnitude of what we are experiencing without going under and loosing ourself. The devil is a lie! That is a prime setup for seeking the Rock to keep from sinking. Before we go under, we may recall Psalm 78:35, “And they remembered that God was their rock, And the Most High God their Redeemer.”

What conditions, circumstances, realities and regrets hurled at you while you thought yourself to be planted? Before you consider the option of sinking, via letting go of God and His promises, as descendants of sand, don’t forget that we came from rock. The Word of the Lord says dust, but I will allow my holy imagination to envision sand. Whatever we attempt to stand upon as we live will fail us in comparison to our Great God. Other people, opinions, projections and beliefs, even our own, are unstable as compared to God. Daily we must hold fast to the belief expressed in I Samuel 2:2, “Nor is there any rock like our God.” This is why the congregants proudly sang, “All other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.” As a child, I mimicked them in shouting that portion of the hymn, and as an adult, I’ve had enough sand experiences to understand God as the Rock of my Salvation! At the beach, the waves may bring the water ashore and may seemingly overtake the sand, but as the water recedes, the sand remains, and so will we. Isaiah 43:2 declares, “When you pass through the waters, I’ll be with you; and through the rivers, they won’t sweep over you. when you walk through fire you won’t be scorched, and the flame won’t set you ablaze.” The sand doesn’t drown, and neither will we! We have access to the Rock, because we are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God (Psalm 139:14) or in other words, the Rock. The Rock is in our DNA! “All other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.”

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