Monday, May 07, 2007
“He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, and sets me upon my high places.”
I am using the book “Hinds’ Feet On High Places” by Hannah Hurnard with a devotional by Darien Cooper in my quiet time. Her introduction to the allegory includes this summary:
“The lessons of accepting and triumphing over evil, of becoming acquainted with
grief, and pain, and ultimately, of finding them transformed into something
incomparably precious; of learning through constant glad surrender to know the
Lord of Love Himself in a new way and to experience unbroken union with Him-
these are the lessons of the allegory in this book. The High Places and the hinds’
feet do not refer to heavenly places after death, but are meant to be the glorious
experience of God’s children here and now – if they will follow the path He
chooses for them.”
I read this book not too long ago, but I am finding that taking one page at a time and reading the corresponding devotional is making it far more meaningful. How I long to reach the High Places and how far I have to go.
In my reading the other day, Much-Afraid hasn’t started on her journey yet. She is having a conversation with Shepherd telling Him of her desire to go with Him to the High Places – and He asks her this question:
“No one is allowed to dwell in the Kingdom of Love, unless they have the flower
of Love already blooming in their hearts. Has Love been planted in your heart,
Here is Much-Afraid’s answer:
“I think that what is growing there is a great longing to experience the joy of
natural, human love and to learn to love supremely one person who will love
me in return….I see the longing to be loved and admired growing in my heart,
Shepherd, but I don’t think I see the kind of Love that You are talking about,
at least, nothing like the love which I see in You.”
Much-Afraid confesses to the Shepherd that she is afraid, because she understands that loving gives another the power to hurt you in a way nothing else can. The Shepherd acknowledges that that is true,” but Love does not think that very significant.”
Mrs. Cooper says in the devotional section, “We were designed to receive and return God’s love, but often gets replaced with self-love or with a craving for others’ love.”
I have thought about this for a couple of days now. I know that my tendency to want everyone to think well of me places me squarely in the center of what she is talking about. I tend to become so concerned about the approval of others I forget to even seek the Lords’. He and I are working on this one. It is rather deep-seeded in my heart.
The other thing I have thought long and hard about is Much-Afraid’s fear. I see that in myself also. With complete honesty I have to confess that there is a fear in my heart that if I completely abandon myself to God, He will take me to the place I fear the most. Sounds so foolish – I know. Yet there it is. If I loosen the death grip I have on what I think is control of my life and allow myself to fall into His arms – what will happen to me? Will He allow those circumstances I see looming on the horizon to overtake me? I want miraculous deliverance. That is what I pray for, but what is His plan. I know He has promised to work all things together for my good, but what about the journey I must take to get there.
I have struggled with this one all my life. It is one of those issues I think I have settled only to discover it hasn’t really been pulled up by the roots and has once again sprouted in the depths of my heart. My prayer is that I will love Him so much that I will trust Him no matter what is looming on the horizon of my life – or the lives of those I love dearest; that I will walk by faith and not by sight; that I will place my hand in His like a trusting child and go wherever He leads me. Father, I believe; help my unbelief.