Hind’s Feet on High Places
By, Hannah Hurnard
It took me almost a year to read this book. I only read a few pages each morning at the end of my devotions. It’s really an amazing allegory about the Christian life much like Pilgrim’s Progress. God really used this book to encourage me through difficult times and to let me know that He is working even though all of life felt senseless and pointless and meaningless.
God is there, He is with us. Especially in the hard times. No only that… He knows what is coming and He knows it will be difficult for us, but that is when He is available… whenever we call out to Him. We never have to walk anything alone. The moment we whisper His name or shout it in desperation, He is there, listening, strengthening. He wants to hear us call. He will never force himself upon us, but will patiently wait for us to see our need.
A dear friend of mine (writes a blog as well) and she read this book through a difficult trial in her life and then leant the book to me. She gave me a journal with a large portion copied out of the book that she particularly found poignet. I too was drawn to this (somewhat long) passage. It doesn’t spoil the book, but is only a small part. Please take the time to read it!
This is an interaction between the main character, Much-Afraid and The Shepherd –
“ Then one day the path turned a corner, and to her amazement and consternation she saw a great plain spread out beneath them. As far as the eye could see there seemed to be nothing but desert, and endless expanse of sand dunes, with not a tree in sight. … To the horror of Much-Afraid her two guides prepared to take the steep path downward.
She stopped dead and said to them, “We mustn’t go down there. The Shepherd has called me to the High Places. We must find some path which goes up, but certainly not down there.” But they made signs to her that she was to follow them down the steep pathway to the desert below.
Much-Afraid looked to the left and right, but though it seemed incredible, there was no way possible by which they could continue to climb upward….
“I can’t go down there,” panted Much-Afraid, sick with shock and fear. “He can never mean that, never! He called me up to the High Places, and this is an absolute contradiction of all that he promised.” She then lifted up her voice and called desperately, “Shepherd, come to me. Oh, I need you. Come and help me.”
In a moment he was there, standing beside her….
He looked at her and answered very gently, “That is the path, Much-Afraid, and you are to go down there.”
“Oh, no,” she cried. “You can’t mean it. You said if I would trust you, you would bring me to the High Places, and that path leads right away from them. It contradicts all that you promised.”
Much-Afraid felt as though he had stabbed her to the heart. “You mean,” she said incredulously, “You really mean that I am to follow that path down and down into the wilderness and then over that desert, Why” and there was a sob of anguish in her voice) “it may be months, even years, before that path leads back to the mountains again. O Shepherd, do you mean it is indefinite postponement?”
He bowed his head silently, and Much-Afraid sank on her knees at his feet, almost overwhelmed. He was leading her away from her heart’s desire altogether and gave no promise at all as to when he would bring her back. As she looked out over what seemed an endless desert, the only path she could see led farther and farther away from the High Places, and it was all desert.
Then he answered very quietly, “Much-Afraid, do you love me enough to accept the postponement and the apparent contradiction of the promise, and to go down there with me into the desert?”
She was still crouching at his feet, sobbing as if her heart would break, but now she looked up through her tears, caught his hand in hers, and said, trembling, “I do love you, you know that I love you. Oh, forgive me because I can’t help my tears. I will go down with you into the wilderness, right away from the promise, if you really wish it. Even if you cannot tell me why it has to be, I will go with you, for you know I do love you, and you have the right to choose for me anything that you please.”
Then they began the descent into the desert, and at the first step Much-Afraid felt a thrill of the sweetest joy and comfort surge through her, for she found that the Shepherd himself was going down with them. She would not have Sorrow and Suffering as her only companions, but he was there too.” (Page 80 – 84)
Sometimes faith and truth are more easily revealed in a story… and this is only a part of it! The book truly blessed and encouraged me and I hope it will you as well!