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Do you ever wonder why the deer is cited so many times in Scripture? Is the deer that sure-footed that we should want our steps to mimic his?
The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills.” Habakkuk 3:19a
I asked my husband, the hunter, if a deer can climb just about anything. He told me that a mountain goat was better for climbing up rocks and can get just about anywhere.
Not quite the answer I was looking for.
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This passage follows quite a history of hard times. The writer, Habakkuk, was not having a good day – let alone a good life.
- The cherry trees didn’t blossom
- The strawberries didn’t ripen
- The apples were worm-eaten
- The wheat fields were stunted
- The sheep pens were sheepless
- The cattle barns were empty (Habakkuk 3:17)
NOTHING WAS GOING RIGHT! (And that’s only the bad stuff from chapter 3, not to mention all the woes listed in chapters one and two.)
Even through all that was going on, Habakkuk said, “I’m singing joyful praise to God. I’m turning cartwheels of joy to my Savior God. Counting on God’s Rule to prevail, I take heart and gain strength. I run like a deer. I feel like I’m king of the mountain!” ( Habakkuk 3:18-19 “The Message”)
That’s a whole lotta joy going on right there.
And guess what else? After that it notes: For congregational use, with a full orchestra. (End of verse 19.)
Habakkuk chose joy.
- But the kids are on my last nerve – they’ve whined all day long! Choose joy. Some people can’t have kids.
- I have too much to do and not enough time in which to do it. Choose joy. You have a life and tasks you are able to perform.
- My husband doesn’t understand me. Choose joy. You have a husband, and he probably has some good traits – seek to focus on them.
- I’m not seeing any fruit from my efforts. Choose joy. God only asks you to be faithful. Also, there are probably good things happening you don’t see, or may never see.
- My job is terrible. Choose joy. You have a job.
I don’t mean to sound flippant. God knows I’ve done my share of complaining. As Ann Voskamp so frequently hashtags, I’m “preaching truth to myself.” What I am saying is, we can always find joy. If we look for it.
Oh, and that question about the deer climbing stuff? It’s not even talking about climbing. It’s talking about walking or running freely, ON TOP of hills. In other words – as we claim the strength of God, HE moves us on to the next level.
That’s through the incomprehensible strength of the Lord. (Click on Four Remedies for Hopelessness concerning this subject!)
How about it, my friend? Are you ready to choose joy? If you wait until everything is perfect in life, it will never happen. What situation do you need joy for today?
“The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills.” Habakkuk 3:19
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