Last night my husband said that a book had arrived in the mail for our daughter, but it was addressed to me. I didn’t remember ordering a book, but you can imagine my delight when I saw this cover:
Yes! I did order this book, but it was a while ago and I had forgotten about it!
I know many of you have read the adult version of this wonderful allegory and can understand my excitement to have a copy for my daughter.
I showed her the book and immediately she wanted us to begin reading. She didn’t want me to stop, but I finally decided to put the book down after reading half of it! She loved it!
For those of you who haven’t read this awesome book by Hannah Hurnard, I will share a little of what it is about. The main character is named Much-Afraid. She has crippled feet and a crooked smile. She is fearful and weak, but loves the Good Shepherd and she works for Him. She lives in the valley surrounded by her horrible family, the Fearings. They want her to marry Craven Fear, but she wants to be free to climb the mountains and go to the High Places with the Good Shepherd. Since she is too weak to climb the mountain by herself, the Good Shepherd gives her the companions of Sorrow and Suffering. Much-Afraid was terrified of having THEM as her companions, but the Good Shepherd said, “They [were] two of the best teachers” He had. Much-Afraid trembled and cried out that she COULDN’T go with them, but the Good Shepherd said, “Will you trust Me, Much-Afraid?” (Ouch! Will you trust Me, Beth?) He reminded her that He promised to make her feet like hinds’ feet so that she could leap up the mountains.
This has always been one of my FAVORITE books and it teaches such deep lessons. Unfortunately, I can really relate with Much-Afraid. That has been the story of my life. I don’t have a family of Fearings, but I have definitely been tormented by spiritual Fearings for most of my life.
Much-Afraid felt safe and strong when she was with the Good Shepherd. I can understand that because in His presence there is fullness of joy! She begged Him to just stay with her and carry her to the top of the mountain. Oh, bless her heart — she sounds so much like me (or I sound so much like her). The Good Shepherd responded, “Much-Afraid, I could do what you wish. I could carry you all the way, instead of having you climb there. But if I did, you would never develop hinds’ feet, become My companion, and go where I go. If you climb with the helpers I have chosen for you, even though it will seem like a very long and hard journey, I promise that you will develop hinds’ feet. Then you will be able to run and jump with Me, far away from your enemies.”
Doesn’t that show such WISDOM and truth? Just as a baby chick must peck through her egg-shell and a butterfly must break through its own cocoon — we MUST use our spiritual muscles to grow. The Good Shepherd waited until Much-Afraid asked to go to the High Places and God waits for us to ask Him as well.
He just wants us to trust Him and say, “YES LORD!” Even though the way seems scary and tough, will we trust Him?
I don’t know why I have had to deal with so much fear in my life, but I DO KNOW that I wouldn’t be who I am today if I hadn’t gone through that very difficult long journey of breaking free! I also walked slowly up the path with some companions I wouldn’t have chosen for myself.
I can look back over my adult life and see the stones that were created after each difficult season in my life., but stepping-stones nonetheless. I bet you can too. Think back to the times you did the right thing even though it caused pain and discomfort.
Just like you, I formed stepping-stones by saying, “Yes Lord” even though I wanted to run and hide.
Just like much Much-Afraid kept allowing the Fearings to enter into her cottage, we often open the door to fear (or worry, anger, shame, control — whatever our particular struggle may be). Once she allowed them to enter, it took someone stronger to chase them away. Each time she cried out for the Good Shepherd, Jesus — He came to rescue her. He even provided strong neighbors for her, the Valliant family. They weren’t afraid of the Fearings and they served the Good Shepherd too. That is no different from the natural. Jesus is HERE for us and He often places people in our paths to help us along the way.
Do you say, “YES LORD” even when it is scary and difficult? Do you trust Him? Do I trust Him?
I am linking with Bonnie for her Thursday Faith Jam. Today’s prompt is: YES. Please click on her button below to visit her:
IF you have never read this wonderful book, PLEASE do yourself a favor an order the adult version. You will never regret it. If you click on the button below, it will take you to the book on Amazon.