Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Holy Ground

Exodus 3 tells the story of God appearing to Moses in the burning bush; Moses couldn’t put his finger on why the bush was on fire but not burning up. As he approached to get a closer look, God stopped him.

“Moses! Moses!”

“Here I am!” Moses replied.

“Do not come any closer,” the Lord warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground…”

I looked up the definition of holy on Wikipedia; it says that holy (or sacred) means set apart for the worship or service...It could also mean being set apart to pursue (or to already have achieved) a sacred state…

There is nothing earth-shattering about ground; Wikipedia says it means the earth’s surface (among other things).

Ordinary ground, on it’s own may not be that exciting or interesting; however, put the word “holy” in front of it and it becomes something extraordinary.

Based on the definitions above, have you ever stood on holy ground? If you are a born-again child of God, my belief is that you have.

These pictures are of a portion of the road I travel every day to and from work. My commute is approximately 40-45 minutes over approximately 35 miles.

Do you see anything spectacular about this stretch of road? You may not see anything special about it, but for me, this is holy ground.

On this specific stretch of road (approximately 1/3 of a mile) I cried out to God for the first time in my life as I felt that my marriage was over. Two days later God showed up on this same stretch of road and told me he would walk with me through the hard times.

This was the beginning of a true and authentic walk with God which began a little less than 6 years ago.

About three years later, on this same stretch of road, God showed up again. This time I didn’t like what he had to say; but my relationship with him had grown and I had learned to trust him.

But in my heart, I knew it was God and the message he spoke was clear: I needed to personally confess a sin to someone from years before. God again promised that he would walk with me.

Should there be a sign along the side of the road that says: "Holy Ground - next 1/3 of a mile?" Was the ground by the burning bush still holy ground after God was no longer there?

While I believe that there is significance in the fact that God has appeared to me in the same place on more than one occasion; I don't believe that a sign should be erected. This is a special "place" for me, but probably not for anyone else; a place where I finally reached out to God after years and years of being pursued by him.

Not only is God Holy, but he loves us so much that he pursues us in order that we might be holy; set apart for worship and service.

What about you? Where/when have you been on holy ground?

Abba Father, thank you for pursuing us; thank you for desiring to make us holy. Open our eyes to the times, places and faces where you show up. Don’t let us miss another moment Emmanuel.

(On a side note, in obedience to God, I did personally confess the sin to the person I sinned against. God, and his grace, showed up there too. And, my husband and I are still married.)


  1. Did you take these pictures while driving? Shame on you! (Now I must offer a confession...I do it too!!!). Anyway, when my Mom was dying of a horrible cancer and I didn't think I could make it without her, I cried OUT LOUD on the way from Canton to Inwood every night. I sobbed....I wailed....right there by the Sioux River. I feel the power right there by the river as I drive the road less frequently now, but that feels like my "Holy Ground". I think it can be many places to many people and it can change from day to day, but I found it interesting that a plain old stretch of road became special to you, just as it did to me. Bless you as you journey that road. Drive Carefully! Carol at Choose Joy

  2. Janelle you have a beautiful way with words. Thank you for sharing this piece of yourself! I love the mental picture it gives.

  3. Oddly enough, my closet -- right by the dirty clothes hamper -- is my holy ground. I had a big moment of surrender on my knees in that closet once upon a time. And I return there often.

  4. Yes, Jennifer; I remember that your closet is holy ground.

  5. Thanks for encouraging words on my blog today. And thanks for your thoughts about holy ground. I work part-time at a conference center called Laity Lodge in TX. God has met and changed me many times there and it is true of many of the guests who come for retreats. God is blessing the place because of the prayers and vision of the founders and current leaders. His story; His glory! His ground; We're found. Keep sharing your changed life.

  6. And Carol...yes, I was driving. I was going to stop but you know how cold it is out on the "prairie" this time of year.

  7. Janelle, Thanks for posting a comment on my blog today! Precious. And contrary to what you say in your "About Me" section, you are definitely a writer...a gifted one. Thanks for sharing your testimony and your heart.

  8. It seems that God is speaking to His people about holiness and surrender a great deal these days. Thank you for visiting my blog, it's good to get to know a new family member :-)
    Blessings to you..

  9. I love the idea (and reality) of holy ground. Pastor Ken always removes his shoes before he preaches as a reminder to himself...I love that.
    My sunny back room, by the couch holds vivid recollections of God's "showing up".
    Thank you for the reminder to listen and expect Him to meet us on holy ground.

  10. My name is Hope.I have been through alot in the past 3 years.Just lost my mom a few months ago.But my Lord has seen me through.I feel in my heart there is no more common ground for us today as christian's.Our God is Holy and when I am in his presence, it is a place of him drawing us to that secret place of intimacy a love relationship that takes us deeper and higher.Our hearts become pure and our faith in him becomes like a child like faith.He is Lord!