He makes me as surefooted as a deer,

    enabling me to stand on mountain heights.

You have made a wide path for my feet

    to keep them from slipping.

Psalm 18:33 and 36 (NLT)

Some years ago, I fell and broke my elbow requiring surgery followed up by physical therapy. As the doctor was discharging me, I asked if there was anything else I needed to do. 

He answered, “Rule #1. Do not fall.”

Rather simple but the older I get the more I notice my balance is not what it used to be. I’ve seen what falls can do with Mark, both of my parents, and Mark’s mom. 

I’ve also experienced falls as a result of disobedience, arrogance, pride, greed, and fame. I’m no celebrity but I’ve had my share of being in the spotlight over the years and it’s both a fun and scary place to be. There are boulders to trip us up at every turn. However, God doesn’t send us out in those arenas of limelight without tools and abilities, if we look to Him.

I watched a video series about the deserts of Israel and one of the most interesting showed the various paths scuffed out all over the hillsides. Many are steep, surrounded by rocks, boulders, shale, sand, and gravel. Trying to get around is treacherous. Yet, one of the many inhabitants of that land is an Ibex, a type of goat, that God gave a soft hoof that grips the rock without slipping. They bound over that hazardous terrain, with its dizzying heights, never missing a step.

That same God, our Father, enables us to walk difficult paths. Danger may be just around the next bend but we are not without help and hope. We have spent the last two months in quarantine because of the potential peril to ourselves and those we love. We have followed the guidelines and are now very familiar with social distancing, washing our hands, and wearing masks. We are edging out of this isolation but we need to have the sure-footedness of the Ibex and be careful.

God does not leave us flat-footed in His ways either. He gives us His Word, the Bible, for instruction plus the Holy Spirit, as the still voice within, to guide us into wide paths so we won’t slip. 

So, don’t forget Rule #1. “Do not fall.” But let’s add, “Make sure you remember your marching orders before you head out.”