Friday, September 14, 2007

Hinds' Feet

"The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds' feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]! " Habbakuk 3:19 (Amp.)

I love this verse, and one of my favorite books over the years has been "Hinds Feet on High Places". It has been an encouragement during the hard times of life to not give up, but to keep pressing on to know Him. The book is an allegory that starts off, "This is the story of how Much-Afraid escaped from her Fearing relatives and went with the Shepherd to the High Places where 'perfect love casts out all fear'." Much-Afraid worked for the Shepherd and loved what she did, but she was crippled and disfigured, which hindered her work and made her feel distressed and ashamed. She longed to be whole and to walk in the High Places, but she didn't have the strength and ability to get there as she was.

When she told the Shepherd she wanted to be able to go there, he said he would give her two companions that would take her in the way that would develop strong hinds' feet in her so she could ascend the mountains. The names of her two companions were Sorrow and Suffering, and unless she was willing to trust Him and go with them she would never be able to escape from her evil cousin Craven Fear and the other Fearings, and have the strength to walk in the High Places with the Shepherd.

It is clear from reading the Word that we will all experience sufferings in this life, and that we need the attributes of endurance and perseverence. All the difficulties we pass through are to produce the character and strength needed to live the life God is calling us to. But we do not need to pass through these things alone - indeed, we are not supposed to pass through them alone. He is with us and He lives in us to be all that we need as we pass through various trials and difficulties.

He lives in us to be our life, our wisdom, our strength, to be our courage, to help us stand against the enemy, and to make our feet like deers' feet that have the ability to walk through and even on top of of the hard things we encounter in life. His goal is that we would not be overwhelmed by what life gives us or try to make it through in our own strength, but that we would come to know Him as the source of everything we need, and that we would experience Him as our way through everything that life brings our way.

In the verses just prior to the one above, Habbakuk is describing a bleak situation: "Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation." How could he talk this way? Because he had experienced the Lord strengthening him before when things were difficult, and he knew that the Lord was able to make his feet like the hinds' feet; that the Lord would help him to stand firmly in the high places above his earthly troubles.

The Lord is wanting to do the same for us. He is using adversity and trials to make us inwardly strong as we look to Him and depend on Him to be our very present help in times of trouble, to be our strength and our security in the high places. His ways are often different than our ways, but He is so wise and He loves us and is for us.

"He makes my feet like hinds' feet [able to stand firmly or make progress on the dangerous heights of testing and trouble]; He sets me securely upon my high places." Psalm 18:33

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