Deer Me

DEER_HEIGHTSWhen I was a kid, I read the message of Habakkuk and was perplexed.

Habakkuk hears the news of a coming calamity that makes his lips quiver, his body tremble, and his knees knock. An invading army is going to bring terror and devastation to the land.Then he says:

God, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer’s;
he makes me tread on my high places.

I didn’t get it.

The thing about the deer just seemed to come out of nowhere. And it didn’t make any sense to me.

30 years later, I still didn’t get it.

On an intellectual level, I could now see where that deer came in, and I gathered what Habakkuk was saying. When things befall us that make our hearts tremble and our knees buckle, we can draw supernatural strength from God. Even when we are brought low by terrible adversity, we can leap upon the mountain heights by relying upon Him.

But practically speaking, I had a nagging sense that I didn’t know how to live upon God in such circumstantial extremities.

Then adversity came.

And I didn’t respond like a deer skipping on the heights. I reacted like a deer frozen in the headlights. Then I became stunned and immobilized like a deer that had been hit by an oncoming car. My circumstantial lows left me in a spiritual trench.

I would slowly come to realize that it’s from the circumstantial depths that we learn to tread upon the spiritual heights. When we find ourselves in the midst of extreme adversity–having nothing else to rely upon–we begin to practice dependence upon God. And only then do we begin to discover that supernaturally renewed spiritual strength that enables us to go bounding up into the mountains, leaping from height to height. 

In low times,are you living like a deer on the high places?

8 thoughts on “Deer Me

  1. One of my favorite sayings is that “Sometimes the only way up is down.” Sometimes, it is only when we are in those dark and lonely places, so desperate for light, that we are able to truly see God. Been there a few times. Wish I didn’t have to keep going back, but apparently I’m not perfect yet. 🙂

    • I am personally familiar with the “distinct impressions” you describe. I’m knocking on the door. Is nobody on the other side? Or is there Somebody there who doesn’t care enough to respond?
      Neither of those conclusions are true, but that’s what it can feel like to us. It seems like we’re seeking God and God’s hiding from us. (Those are the impressions that the enemy wants us to believe.) The stunning truth is, God is the pursuer in the relationship.
      You ask the right question: How do we learn to rely on God? Because of the wounds and the trauma we’ve experienced in our lives, our hearts and minds can be very noisy places. We can have great difficulty being quiet enough in our hearts to hear the still, small voice of God.
      Personally, I experienced a long season (years) of frustration with feelings of relational distance from God, I am only beginning to learn to quiet my own spirit in order to hear what God’s Spirit is whispering to me.
      I hear you. I really do. My encouragement to you is to keep asking, seeking, and knocking while holding on to the stunning truth that doesn’t seem real to you now. God is pursuing you. Jesus is seeking you. The Spirit is whispering to you.

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