When we are walking through a trial, it will often seem like our path is dark, unlit. We don’t know where we are going or where the path is leading.
Hind’s Feet In High Places by Hannah Hernard is my favorite book of fiction. The name of the main character is Much-Afraid. She is led by the Good Shepherd on a journey to the High Places. He graciously gives her two traveling companions to help guide her on the journey. The name of her two companions are SORROW and SUFFERING.
In one part of the book it appears that the path is going the wrong way. Instead of leading her up further to the High Places, it seems like there is a detour. This detour takes her DOWN into a desert. Her reply to her companions is, “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.”
Much-Afraid calls out to the Lord, who appears before her. He says 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?”
What was her response? What would be your response?
Much-Afraid says to her Good Shepherd, “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.”
Much-Afraid laid down her will. She chose to trust her Shepherd knowing that He loved her and had her best interests at heart.
I must say, the past few years of my life have been a bit of a roller coaster ride. My path has been wild, scary, and often hidden from view. At times, I could only see three feet ahead. My future, once so comfortable and stable (as a teacher), has become one of uncertainty. I had to lay down my will and give up my hopes of returning to my beloved Oregon….. at least for the present. He led me into a Rocky Mountain desert, beautiful but not where I had wanted to journey.
He has blessings for us in the downward paths, the deserts, the unexplained roads that appear dangerous and off track. In reality, these paths are right on track! He wants us to trust in His goodness and lay down our wills. The momentary delay of His promise to take us all to His High Places will serve a purpose in our lives.
Will you trust the Lord to take you by the hand and walk with you into those wilderness places? He has lessons to teach and wisdom to give you.