Saturday, December 13, 2008
Several years ago a dear friend gave me a book to read. She prefaced the gift by saying that she didn't give this book to just anyone and felt I was ready to read it. The book is
Hinds' Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard. The title comes from the Old Testament book of Habakuk 3:19. It is an allegory of the journey we each need to take before we can live on the "high places". As I read the book the first time, I immediately recognized myself in the main character "Much Afraid". Like her, I often forget to call the Shepherd and trust that He will come when my enemies Pride, Fear, Doubt and Despair (and others) rear their ugly heads.
"Much Afraid" learns a lot on her journey, and like most of us, has many setbacks. The main lesson of the story is to never lose hope and to remember that all we need to do is call the name of the "Good Shepherd". He will be at our sides as soon as we call. There are many other lessons to be learned depending on where we are on our journey. "Much Afraid" has an awesome adventurous journey and even comes to be called by a "new name"(which I won't give away in case you haven't read the book).
Since receiving this book, I have made it my own personal Christmas tradition to reread it every Christmas. It helps me to take stock of where I am on my journey. Sometimes I am still
"Much Afraid" and sometimes I am a little closer to hearing our Good Shepherd call me by my new name.
How about you? If you haven't read this book, I highly recommend it. I believe it was first published in the 1970's so it may be out of print. There are plenty of online resources to help find out of print books. If you have read it, it certainly is worth rereading.
Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King
My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.
Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.
Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.