Sunday, September 14, 2008

Developing Feet like a Deer

Each new season in my life, it seems like I always end up reading “Hinds Feet on High Places” again. I’ve blogged about this allegory by Hannah Hurnard in the past (on my other blogs), and so I hope you’ll bear with me. Each time I blog about a different part that hits me (I think) so hopefully it is new for all of us.

Briefly, for those who are unfamiliar with the book, it is the story of Much-Afraid and her journey to the high places. Much-Afraid is crippled and can hardly walk; she is unattractive to look at, and as her name infers she is afraid – really afraid. But she makes a commitment to follow the Shepherd, and he agrees to lead her to the high places where she will be made whole. The book is the story of her journey.

When I move to a new place, Much-Afraid’s story really resounds with me. Her experiences speak clearly to my experiences, and she thinks and says things to the Shepherd that I say to Him, too. Today as I was reading, this is the passage that stuck out to me:

“When she remembered this, Much-Afraid thought with a little shiver in her heart, ‘He will never be content until he makes me what he is determined that I ought to be,’ and because she was still Much-Afraid and not yet ready to change her name, she added with a pang of fear, ‘I wonder what he plans to do next, and if it will hurt very much indeed?” (pp. 179-180)

I think the reason that this part brought me pause today was that as I read the first part – about being made into “what he is determined that I ought to be “I thought: hmmm, I wonder what he plans to do next. And I wondered if it would be difficult or rather… how much more difficult. And then I turned the page and read the rest of Much-Afraid’s thought and she thought the same thing.

What is great about this book, however, is that it really clearly demonstrates God’s faithfulness to those who are on the journey to the high places. Much-Afraid only needs to call out and the Shepherd is there with her. She is accompanied on her journey by two companions: Sorrow and Suffering – but these companions are strong, help her to be strong, and assist her through the difficult parts of her journey. And all the time, the Shepherd has her on a path that will ultimately lead her to the High Places… it may not be a direct path, but it’s the path that will make her most ready for the high places themselves.

In each new season of my life I learn more about myself. I revisit areas I thought were dead and gone (fear, insecurity, etc). And I reconnect with the One who has been faithful through all these moves and changes.

May the love of the Shepherd be yours today, and may you know his faithfulness as you walk you journey to the high places.