Like Hinds’ Feet
Deer are incredible creatures
Super absorbent shocks, smooth steering, excellent traction in most kinds of weather, making sharp turns effortlessly, top speeds of 60 km per hour, clearing 8 foot high fences from standing position – no, we’re not talking about some kind of hybrid vehicle, we’re talking about deer power.
With 47 species worldwide, deer are incredible creatures. We often associate deer with beloved storybook characters like Bambi or Rudolph. While they are gentle, deer are also an exceptionally nimble animal, due mostly to their hooves. If you’ve ever seen the feet of a deer, you may wonder what their tiny tootsies have to do with their agility. With two big toes covered in a hard, black nail made of a similar but stronger material than our fingernails, and two dewclaws on each foot, at first glance deer hooves certainly don’t seem like anything special. The hooves of a deer however help the animal sprint at very fast speeds, maneuver through various ground conditions, scale steep inclines, and clear tall structures from a standing jump.
The Bible references hinds’ feet
Just as Isaiah wrote that we shall “mount up with wings as eagles,” (40:31), the Bible also references hinds’ feet several times when talking about our spiritual position and the benefits that come when we have God as our strength.
In his song of deliverance (2 Samuel 22 and Psalm 18), after the Lord delivered him from his enemies and from the hand of Saul, David wrote that the Lord “maketh my feet like hinds’ feet: and setteth me upon my high places.” Similarly, in the book of Habakkuk, the prophet prayed and said that God “is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.” (3:19).
David and Habakkuk both claimed God as their strength
While David and Habakkuk lived during two different periods of time and endured separate sufferings, they both recognized and revived their spiritual life and faith when they claimed God as their strength. They recognized that it is He who made their feet as “hinds’ feet” and set them on their high places.
Our strength is not in and of ourselves. If that’s where we’re looking, we will be gravely disappointed and consistently tired. Deer are not without their trials; they’re often hunted for game, afflicted with ticks or other parasites, and on the run from predators. As believers, we can expect affliction in various forms throughout our lives. As C.S. Lewis wrote, “Life with God is not immunity from difficulties, but peace in difficulties.”
It’s a necessity to claim God as our strength
For peace in difficulties, we must purpose ourselves to rely on God over and over again. For calm in chaotic times, we must repeatedly remind ourselves to rest in Him. For the antidote to anxiety, we must constantly cast our burdens on Christ. In order to absorb life’s shocks, to steer smooth, maintain traction through life’s trials, to run swiftly, and succeed through those sharp turns, it’s a necessity to claim God as our strength. Only then can we say, “he makes my feet like hinds’ feet.”