The Ibex mountain goat thrives in rocky, mountainous terrain. He develops the skill of surviving at a very young age simply by existing in and near the loose, slick rocks and craggy terrain. When he is born, his hooved feet and scrawny legs may not be ideal to manage these heights, but over time and given enough repetition, his feet gain strength, and he becomes skilled in using the terrain to his advantage.
David could relate to this creature. In Psalm 18, he extols all that the Lord has done for him, exclaiming that He has given him hinds’ feet for all his high places. David was anointed a leader while in the safe secure environment in which he existed as a shepherd boy, but before he could ascend to his appointed position, God had to prepare him.
David soon found himself in all those arid, craggy heights as he ran from his pursuer, King Saul. It was in those lonely high places that his feet became agile and his leg muscles became strong. He learned how to respond quickly and decisively by tuning into God’s voice. He used the seemingly dangerous places to find refuge from his would-be murderers, both present and future.
We may complain about the trials of the high places; how difficult and tough they are, but they really do serve a purpose in our lives. They are God’s way of training us to depend upon Him, building strength and endurance in us, and ultimately escaping all the traps placed by our enemies.