A Paraphrase to Live By

When we were dating, Richard called me his “little mountain goat,” for the way I would scamper over rocks and cliffs at the ocean.  Today the mountain goat in me must temper her enthusiasm with practicality.  No more leaping from rock to rock above the crashing surf; no more teetering on the edge of a cliff or daring the waves to “catch me if you can.”  No more, at least during this lifetime.  Over the years my concerns as well as my athletic abilities have changed, but I still can claim the promise of Habakkuk 3:17-19.  Here’s my paraphrase of the Message paraphrase:

“Though my orange trees don’t blossom and my lone tomato plant doesn’t produce fruit; though my roof needs repairing and my air-conditioning unit needs replacing; though the needle on my bathroom scales is stuck at an excessively high number as is my morning sugar reading;  yet, I’m singing joyful praises to my God.  I’m turning [proverbial] cartwheels of joy to my Savior God.”  As daring as I could be, I never could fling my heels higher than my head.

Vs. 19 “Counting on God’s rule to prevail [knowing God will supply all my needs…],  I take heart and gain strength.  I run like a deer [or a mountain goat]. I feel like I’m king [queen] of the mountain!”

On this day, regardless of my circumstances, I have a choice to sing joyful praises to my God or to whine and gripe over life’s little and not-so-little discomforts.  For me, the key word is choice!  Because it is my choice to praise, I can know for certain that one day my youth will be restored.  Forget mountain-goating or even doing cartwheels on the lawn, wait ’till you see what I will be able to do in my next life!


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