I am still reading verses and thoughts with B from the book we started during lent. A couple of nights ago we had a little thought based on Psalm 18: 32-33, about how God promises to be with us helping us to cope with the steep climbs and high places of life. ‘He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on the heights.’
In the pause after we had read it out, I asked ‘I wonder what that means?’ – ‘It must be a kind of metaphor’ – ‘yes think you’re right, God doesn’t give us hooves!’ – giggles, ‘so what might the heights be in our lives?’ – ‘not sure?’ At bedtime I’m never sure how much explanation to get into, there’s such a lot to do, and we’re tired. Metaphors are hard work, but I was feeling pleased that we’d spotted it even if we hadn’t quite unraveled it. Just hoped, as she fell asleep, that B wasn’t dreaming that her feet were hooves and that God was asking her to climb every hill and mountain she ever came across from here on however dangerous, because God promised in the Bible to keep us safe whenever we mountain climb!
We revisited the conversation the next day when I had found myself reading the same Psalm in my hour of prayer in the prayer room at church. ‘I wonder what God is trying to show me?’ – ‘it is interesting that you read it again today.’
And today, as we get to bed it’s what we’re talking about again… it’s processing, slowly & gently. B – ‘It must be a metaphor, maybe its about being able to remember God is with us wherever we go… maybe Jesus is our special feet that make us get through tough times?’
Her response is drawing into the picture, for me, ‘feet fitted with the readiness of the Gospel of peace’; taking Jesus with us where we tread. Our climb is purposeful. Later on in the same Psalm is the wonderfully challenging verse ‘with my God I can scale a wall!’… exuberant trust: B – ‘with God we can do absolutely anything!’.
Tomorrow, Pentecost, we are going out of the church building; an invitation to prayer walk in our community in family or small groups. I’m praying that this metaphor (or is it actually a simile or two??) will encourage us… it’s a new experience here for the kids, first time altogether for T, and of course there’s a small (but significant) part of me that isn’t quite sure yet how to achieve a prayer walk with B & A & T!! If it’s ok with you I’ll post again after we’ve done it – and we will…we can scale a wall together; He’s in the midst.
He fills me with strength and protects me wherever I go. He gives me the surefootedness of a mountain goat upon the crags. He leads me safely along the top of the cliffs. (Psalm 18: 32-33 TLB)
You give me strength
and guide me right.
You make my feet run as fast
as those of a deer,
and you help me stand
on the mountains. (Psalm 18: 32-33 CEV)
The God who encircles me with strength
And makes my way blameless?
He makes my feet like hinds’ feet (the hoofs of a doe) [able to stand firmly and tread safely on paths of testing and trouble];
He sets me [securely] upon my high places. (Psalm 18: 32-33 AMP)
God arms me with strength,
and he makes my way perfect.
He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
enabling me to stand on mountain heights. (Psalm 18: 32-33 NLT)