Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be.
So I have been extra, extra tired lately. Like zero energy. I’ve been sleeping well at night (for me…insomniac here) yet I’m still tired. I’m not sick or anything and have been taking vitamins, etc. Life is tough living with a child with a disability, plus 2 typical kids and busy schedules. I am not complaining….I love all of my babies. (Yes, Landon’s situation is draining, but my motto is just keep swimming.)
Anyway, Wednesday I was waiting in a long line in the pharmacy drive thru to pick up one of Landon’s medications. The line is regularly long and so my older son and I planned to do some homeschool work while waiting. We brought reading and math to do, and started in on the story first. The story was an excerpt from a true story and caught my attention right away. It was about a young girl in 1856 (Abbie Burgess) who was left with the task of taking care of her family, home, and twin lighthouse towers while her father was away getting supplies. While the father was away, a terrible storm occurred and Abbie had to ensure her ill mother and siblings all survived all while tending the lights in the lighthouses. The house flooded and food supplies ran very low and had to be rationed. The storm lasted for over two weeks and Abbie had a treacherous task in front of her, but she never lost hope and God provided the strength she needed until her father returned. When her dad arrived back to the lighthouse, he told her he knew everything would be alright with the family and the lighthouses because he had faith in his daughter to see things through the terrible storm.
Okay so this story totally touched me (and might have even made my eyes misty.) I could totally relate to her feelings of having a seemingly unending, daunting task to complete all while her strength and energy were being depleted by the storm. Yet, she persevered, kept the faith, and made it through. Just as her Father knew she would.
Later that afternoon, I was catching up on a daily devotion and I ran across the verse above from Deuteronomy that I’ve never really paid attention to before. I read it a couple of times, and I wasn’t sure what it meant so I looked it up. I found an excellent commentary from BibleHub called MacLaren’s Expositions explaining the verse:
There is a general correspondence between those blessings wherewith Moses blessed the tribes of Israel before his death, and the circumstances and territory of each tribe in the promised land. The portion of Asher, in whose blessing the words of our text occurs, was partly the rocky northern coast and partly the fertile lands stretching to the base of the Lebanon. In the inland part of their territory they cultivated large olive groves, the produce of which was trodden out in great rock-hewn cisterns. So the clause before my text is a benediction upon that industry-’let him dip his foot in oil.’ And then the metaphor naturally suggested by the mention of the foot is carried on into the next words, ‘Thy shoes shall be iron and brass,’ the tribe being located upon rocky sea-coast, having rough roads to travel, and so needing to be well shod. The substance, then, of that promise seems to be-strength adequate to, and unworn by, exercise; while the second clause, though not altogether plain, seems to put a somewhat similar idea in unmetaphorical shape. ‘As thy days, so shall thy strength be,’ probably means the promise of power that grows with growing years.
So Deuteronomy 33:25 is a blessing given (in the region of Asher) to have strong, protective footwear because the areas one would have to walk through would be hard, rocky, difficult. This really spoke to me when I read it. I can totally relate to a hard, rocky road in life at times. The remainder of the verse encouraged me even more, as I have been so tired lately. It is the promise of having strength for each day for all your days.
I love the ocean and I always have. Both the lighthouse story and the verse from Deuteronomy are such encouraging reminders to me. I don’t think it is a coincidence that two reminders about enduring strength and overcoming storms came to me that day. So I wanted to share it.
Friends, I pray God provides you with the encouragement, strength, and faith you need to persevere through whatever difficulties you are facing. I know at times we all have rough, rocky paths to walk. I pray your shoes are strong and protective and that your fortitude and faith are even stronger. God promises to see you through the storm, whatever that may be.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.