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.
I fell and broke my elbow about 20 years ago 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 to Mark, both of my parents, and Mark’s mom. We have just come through a season of falls that have put Mark on the floor, often needing the aid of emergency personnel to get him up.
I’ve also experienced falls as a result of disobedience, arrogance, pride, greed, and fame. I am no celebrity but I’ve had my share of being in the spotlight over the years and it can be a scary place to be. There are boulders to trip us up at every turn, often unseen but ready to take us down — your influence, your witness, your integrity.
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, and surrounded by rocks, boulders, shale, sand, and gravel. Trying to get around is treacherous. Yet, one of the numerous 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. 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. He brings people into our lives to give us a hand up.
So, don’t forget Rule #1. But if you fall, He is there to help. You are not alone.