I am publishing excerpts from my first book, Fear No Evil which releases in April. In Chapter Six, I talk about the importance of worship and its power to propel us through the valleys of darkness.
All of the proceeds of this book go to support the Dream Centers we are opening in our city. You can pre-order by clicking here.
Coming before God continuously in a posture of humility and with abundant praise on our lips invites him to steady our stance so that we will be prepared to endure future seasons of pain.
I realize this doesn’t sound like much of a benefit. Who wants to do anything that would possibly invite future pain? But as we looked at in chapter 5, we are already guaranteed some tough times in this life, and you and I both would do well to step into those episodes with as surefooted a stance as possible.
Psalm 18:31-33 says, “For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights.” Those words took on new meaning to me after the shooting. It was as if God himself said, Brady, I never promised that the path would be free of rocks or treachery. But I did promise to give you the feet of a deer. Undeniably, on December 9, 2007, my wide, pleasant path became difficult, narrow, and steep. But God immediately kept his word to me—he made me as surefooted as a deer.
The deer described in the Old Testament are not the elegant white-tails I grew up hunting in the woods of northwest Louisiana, but the point is exactly the same: all deer were distinctly designed by God to be able to bound across treacherous paths with balance, agility, and grace. I’ve been to the desert south of Jerusalem where the psalmist David used to tend his father’s flock of sheep, and whenever I read the words of Psalm 18, I imagine him standing at the bottom of a hill and eyeing the huge cliffs above. Seeing the craggy surfaces, the severe drop-offs, the series of tightly woven switchbacks that years of hoofmarks have carved into the ground, he must have marveled all over again that any animal could negotiate such terrain without stumbling.
Throughout the state of Colorado, there are many mountainous roads that wind across steep passes and breathtaking drop-offs. Invariably, when I’m driving through the most harrowing parts, I’ll look up and see a bunch of deer or bighorn sheep meandering around like they’re standing on flat Texas soil. They graze on patches of earth that seem no bigger than a silver dollar and look down at you as if to say, “What? You call this tight?”
Lately, whenever I see those impossibly agile beasts, I remember David’s words to us. “Don’t become so consumed with the landscape that you forget your footing is sure,” I think he is saying through the ideas of that psalm. “You’re steadier than you think you when you choose to trust God with your stance.”