Progress in High Places

God the Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the deer's; He makes me tread on my high places. Habakkuk 3:19 ESV

I haven’t been posting much because we have been traveling the country, visiting our family over the last two weeks. Seeing our sons, our grandchildren and in-laws has been a wonderful though exhausting experience. When I stopped into Walmart to get the oil changed yesterday, I learned that we had logged 4,300 miles, but it has been worth it to see our granddaughter at ballet practice, our grandson holding a baby goat and our boys who are now grown men! In spending a birthday with one of our older grandsons, he chose among the activities of his special day, to watch his cousin’s speech class presentation day. As the teacher opened the session, she began with a quote that really stuck with me. “Some people say that practice makes perfect. But practice doesn’t make perfect, practice makes progress!”

How often in our Christian walk do we beat ourselves up, or stress out over mistakes and feel like quitting, because we have not attained that “Perfect” status that we hoped for? That was certainly the situation which the prophet Habakkuk faced in today’s verse. He had done his best praying, preaching and setting a good example for the people that God had called him to serve. Yet most folks ignored his advice and had fallen deeply into the sins of idol worship and sexual immorality. The armies of the Babylonian empire were now destroying his nation, burning the temple and putting an end to the kingdom that God had once given to King David. Things couldn’t have looked worse. Habakkuk saw that no matter how hard he tried or how persuasively he preached, that his version of success was not to be, and yet God gave him hope. In his darkest moments, Habakkuk discovered that God was still his strength and God was still in charge of the spiritual progress that he was going to make. No matter the cliffs of impossible situations, hopeless battles or dark days ahead, God would give him feet as sure footed as a wild deer. God showed him that even in those places he could walk and not fall. God is also our hope, our refuge and our strength in the bleak circumstances that sometimes surround us, our families and our nation. We can have hope because our God doesn’t demand our perfect response to terrible circumstances or perplexing people. Instead, He takes weaklings like you and me and gives us strength. He makes us as sure-footed and graceful as a deer so that we can make progress day by day as we walk with Him up onto the highest places of all!

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