When I think of heights, I think of incredible views and vista points. I tend to forget the uphill climb, the exertion, the precipices, and the risks involved in scaling or climbing to such heights.
I like the view, but I often don’t like the voyage. After all, there is a reason most of us enjoy pictures from those who have summited Everest but have zero desire to ever accomplish such a feat.
The same is true when it comes to spiritual heights. Most of us want maturity and perspective, yet we refuse the risky and uncomfortable journeys which lead to those vistas.
This week, I have been studying Psalm 18. In it, David is on the run from a paranoid and jealous Saul (who happens to be the father of his best friend in the entire world… and we think our stories are complicated!). David is quite literally living on the edge of existence, hiding out in crags and caves in an incredibly harsh and unrelenting climate.
“I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies” (Psalm 18:1-3).
Y’all. David is not in the Hilton on a comfortable vacation writing such sweet musings. He is literally running for his life from a madman. These are not soft words, but realities as solid as the rocks under which he is hiding for refuge. They are tested and proven words spoken out of tangible experiences of God’s faithfulness.
“For who is God, but the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God? – the God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless. He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights….You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great” (Psalm 18:31-35).
I wonder if David, while hiding out in the heights, had watched deer whose hooves are uniquely adapted for their life on the edge (quite literally)? I wonder if he saw their unthinkable ability to cling to crags and live off the sparse vegetation that grows at such altitudes?
He saw in God’s provision for them a picture of God’s provision for his survival on the heights. If He gives heights, He will give hooves.
Heights & Hooves
If He assigns heights,
He’ll also give hooves.
His thoughtful provision
Fledgling fear removes.
He sees the topography
From His high ground.
His planning is perfect.
His strategy is sound.
If daunting and draining
The path might appear,
We trust our trainer-
His presence is near.
For, carrying a cross,
He climbed a hill-
To carry us home
Back into His will.
His jarring journey
Our ways transform.
All He assigns us
To Him must conform.
I don’t know what mountains you are called to climb right now. I don’t know what unstable and shifting ground the Lord has called you to stand firm upon. I don’t know the spiritual enemies that are pursuing with hatred for harm.
But I know the One who does. And He prepares His people for their paths, especially the grueling ones. His gentleness makes us great. Happy hooves to you, my friend!