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As Sure-Footed As a Whitetail

Is my faith as strong and immovable as a deer? I ask myself at times. Is yours? Perhaps we should question the sureness of our faith daily, asking if we depend on ourselves or others more than on the Lord.


On being sure-footed

As an octogenarian, I still walk daily but tend to stick to flat terrain. In my younger years, I hiked up and down hills with abandon. But I learned that walking down a mountain is always harder for me than going up. If the mountain path was steep, I tended to go down sideways, sort of like a sailboat tacking into the wind. I’m still about as graceful as a puppy. Not having been blessed with good balance even as a kid, I take extra care during all my walks. So far, I’ve been able to avoid falling but foresee the day when I may be using a cane like others my age.

Maybe it’s because of my clumsiness that I'm in awe when I watch figure skaters and surfers and others who perform in the more graceful sports. Maybe that’s why I think about whitetail deer, jealous of their sure-footedness. With a mighty bound, a whitetail can jump a fence and hit the earth running. Their hooves seem to draw like a magnet to the softest, most level piece of turf regardless of the terrain. It’s amazing how their spindly legs can perform such graceful, dance-like steps as they move.

The Psalmist David speaks about a deer. “He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; He enables me to stand on the heights.” (Psalm 18:33)

The picture David draws is that of God giving us the sure-footedness, stability, and strength of a deer. Perhaps you also enjoy the opportunity of watching their graceful leaps and bounds as they traverse the area. I’ve never seen one falter. Have you noticed how strong their legs are, how unshakeable in their movements?

The attributes of a deer could be compared to our faith. We aren’t always as sure-footed in our faith as we should be. All of us tend to lose our spiritual balance at times. Like a deer that needs sure footing, we need strong, sure faith in God, a faith that is stable in the midst of adversities and dangers, a faith that is unshakeable, enabling us to stand on the heights.

Lord, thank You for creation’s reminders about our Christian faith. We want ours to be as unshakeable as the feet of a deer. When we face troubles and danger, give us a sure footing in our belief, an assurance that You will see us through so we can stand and not slide downward. Cause us to meditate on Your Word daily, relying on Your power and strength. There is no better help anywhere. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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