The Upper Room Devotion for Friday, September 1, 2023, was written by Melinda Burleson Box of Texas.
16 I hear, and I tremble within; my lips quiver at the sound. rottenness enters into my bones, and my steps tremble beneath me. I wait quietly for the day of calamity to come upon the people who attack us. 17 Though the fig tree does not blossom, and no fruit is on the vines; though the produce of the olive fails and the fields yield no food; though the flock is cut off from the fold and there is no herd in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the God of my salvation. 19 God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, and makes me tread upon the heights.
Habakkuk 3:16-19 NRSV
When I first memorized today's scripture reading, I was not sure what it meant. "'The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places" (Hab. 3:19, KJV). What are "hinds' feet"? I wondered. In what "high places" do they walk? Now Habakkuk's affirmation has become my own. I've come to understand how the feet of a deer scaling rocky cliffs is an analogy for life.
Habakkuk struggled with failed crops, dying livestock, and an invading army of Babylonians. He cried out to God, yet he also vowed to wait patiently. Our family has struggled with work - and family - related stress, surgeries and illnesses, and storm damage to our home. During those times, fear and doubt overwhelmed us. Yet scripture gave us peace and promised direction and hope for the future. It taught us how to wait on God. Habakkuk's affirmation ends with rejoicing that God will enable him to keep going. God's word does that for us. The Bible enables us to view our struggles from God's perspective and to persevere.
Pastor Anthony's Thoughts
Keeping our feet under us on shaky ground can be a challenge, especially when that shaky ground comes in the form of hardships and heartaches. Under normal circumstances, we reach out to steady ourselves on a wall, handrail, or table. Yet when the struggle is spiritual, to whom can we reach out to help steady ourselves? Melinda's reflection points us in the right direction. We can always reach out to God to help steady ourselves when our way is uncertainty or the path ahead shifty. God reaches out to us offering us the steady reassurance that we will not fall.
Steadfast God, thank you for the confidence scripture can inspire. Help us listen to your word. Amen.