Saturday, June 23, 2018

Stand Like a Deer


Psalm 18:30-36
As for God, his way is perfect:
    The Lord’s word is flawless;
    he shields all who take refuge in him.
For who is God besides the Lord?
    And who is the Rock except our God?
It is God who arms me with strength
    and keeps my way secure.
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
    he causes me to stand on the heights.
He trains my hands for battle;
    my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
You make your saving help my shield,
    and your right hand sustains me;
    your help has made me great.
You provide a broad path for my feet,
    so that my ankles do not give way.

On my way up the driveway, to the college where I work, a deer stood in the middle of the pavement. I stopped the Jeep and watched her. In slow motion, she sauntered off the drive and headed toward the forest. Just before I pulled away, she seemed to nod at me, then take off at a run. The next day, in the same spot, she stood along the road, while another one sipped water from the pond. We often see wildlife on campus, but I don't think I'd seen the deer two days in a row. But the sightings didn't stop there. The next day, I walked to the Westwood building where the windows look out over the woods. Lo and behold (I say that with amazement) a doe preened her fawn.

Seeing the deer reminded me of the verses King David penned in Psalm 18. Even though the deer in Ohio don't have mountains to climb, mule deer in the Rocky Mountains climb like mountain goats. They're sure-footed and able to make their way up a steep path. David claims that God gave him the balance and ruggedness of a deer, with the ability to take to a path without his ankles giving way. David's words tell me that God equips me to meet my needs. Too often I fear that I don't have the talent I need to complete a task, or the words to write, or the wisdom to understand. I imagine God is probably shaking his head at me, saying "Silly woman, I'm giving you all you need. I always have and I always will." Yes he has, and he will. My unfounded doubts lead me to worry when there is no need.

David, considered a mighty warrior, composed these words before he went to battle. He knew he needed God and God prepared him. We go to war every day against the enemy. Satan creeps around every corner and slings doubt and fear at us. But God has given us the weapons we need to fight him off. Like a deer, I'll climb up the mountain away from Satan and make my way to stand close to Jesus. Praise God he watches out for me.
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. Psalm 42:1

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