“Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet will I rejoice in the LORD; I will take the joy in the God of my salvation. God, the LORD, is my strength. He makes my feet like the deer’s; He makes me tread on my high places.” Habakkuk 3:17-19
A few weeks ago, these verses were brought to our attention at one of our zoom prayer times, and I have been pondering them ever since. And to be honest, it was the last verse ‘God, the LORD, is my strength. He makes my feet like the deer’s; He makes me tread on my high places,' that really caught my attention. I began to wonder you see, why the prophet Habakkuk used ‘deer’s feet’ to illustrate the point he was trying to make. So I did a little bit of research, and I discovered that deer’s feet are actually anatomical wonders, because their structure enables them to skip along freely and safely, whether they are simply chasing after other deer on flat ground, or evading danger, or trying to climb a steep embankment, or negotiate rough terrain! I also discovered that the strong muscles of a deer’s back legs provide power for jumping. In fact, a deer can jump as high as 4.5 metres, and their front legs are ideal for making sharp turns.
While I lived in Indiana, I saw deer all the time - often they would venture into our garden, but I never realized any of this! But as soon as I discovered the facts, it became obvious why Habakkuk wrote what he did! He is encouraging us to understand that no matter how difficult or desolate or distressing our situation might be, if we turn to the Lord, we can find a strength that is not natural to ourselves, and this God-given strength, will enable us to navigate the dangerous boulders and cracks and cliffs of our lives securely, and it will also enable us to jump over the obstacles we encounter, rather than allowing those obstacles to overcome us.
So often we allow our difficult circumstances to play games with our faith, and we ask questions like, “where is God and does He even care?” But says the prophet, we can tread on HIGH PLACES, and we can know the victory HE can give, no matter what life throws at us, if we trust Him to fill us with HIS strength – sometimes just one moment at a time.