The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights. (NLT)
Perhaps we have seen mountain goats clambering on rocky outcrops. We wonder how they can survive in such terrain and realise we would have no chance. Somehow, these creatures manage to get to places that seem impossible, and to keep their feet (or hooves) secure.
Such is the image which rounds off this Old Testament book of Habakkuk. Things are not great, the situation is grim, but God remains God. The landscape may seem inhospitable, the threat of falling very real, but we can be sure footed in the midst of it all. Because God remains God.
When things get threatening, we understandably pray to God to get out of the situation, we want him to remove the threat. Sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn’t. To use biblical imagery, sometimes he leads us to green pastures, other times he allows us to experience dark valleys.
Irrespective of our circumstances, he is with us. And that promise of his presence is what allows us to be sure footed in all circumstances. We are safe even when our life situation seems anything but safe. In zoological terms, we can be like mountain goats because we are in fact sheep in the care of a good shepherd.