Monday, February 17, 2014

Seeking the High Places

Have you ever read a book (not including the Bible) that affected you so profoundly that your life was never the same?  A book that changed your vocabulary and became the standard by which you compared all others?

For me, that book is Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard.  It was written in 1955, then gifted to me...42
years later in a friend who saw the struggle in me.  I was in the throes of infertility, battling for hope, desperately trying to trust God and not doubt His goodness as I waited for the fulfillment of all I knew I had been destined to be...motherhood.

I have been revisiting the book for a few weeks now.  The truths contained are absolutely timeless and so appropriate for the calling on my heart to encourage you, as a mom, that God uses brokenness to bring about beauty.  To remind you that He is good even when pain sears your heart and doubt threatens your faith.

A few months ago I was asked to speak at a conference for adoptive moms that is coming up in April. Besides being nervous I have also been trying to narrow down what God wants me to share with the women who will be there.  I keep coming back to this book, to the girl named Much Afraid who sees only her weakness and cannot imagine how the Shepherd could possibly use her, much less make her fit to live in and belong the High Places.  She falls and she falters and yet He is there, always, to pick her up and remind her that the struggle and suffering of her journey is what will transform her into a creature fitted perfectly for life in the High Places.

Much Afraid discovers that life is not easy because if it was, we would be lame.  It is in the struggle that we become strong.  It is in the place of fear and doubt that He shows Himself faithful.  It is in the desert that we learn to crave and only be satisfied with Living Water.  It is in the Valley of Loss that we surrender our will to His, dying to ourselves and choosing to love Him above all...even our children.

How easily I forget.  How easily I grasp onto the wrong thing and make an idol of His gifts.  He continues to reveal the self-interest infecting my heart, the desire to build my little bubble and make everything work "just so."  He extracts the ugly pride that dims His reflection and brings me back into that place where I can get just a glimpse of His perspective.  He is doing so much more under the surface than I often realize and I have to let go of my stubborn will in order to step away and see what He is trying to show me.

Again and again He shows Himself faithful.  A recurring theme in my walk with Him over the past few years has been one of gathering stones of remembrance...mementos that serve as reminders when I doubt that He was faithful in the past, therefore I can be sure He will be faithful now.  In the book, Much Afraid collects literal stones that become and altar for the Shepherd.  Such a beautiful picture.

My mementos are sometimes objects, often journal entries, or occasionally a photo.  With just a glance I can be taken back to that moment of time and reassured in this moment that my Shepherd is near and using the present suffering and sorrow to make me into a woman who reflects Christ, who is able to leap the crags and rocky cliffs with joy and grace.

So along with the book recommendation I would also ask you to pray for me.  The retreat is in April and I am praying fervently for wisdom and truth to share with these precious women.  I would love some backup :)

If you have read Hinds Feet on High Places I would enjoy hearing your thoughts and what you took away from the book.  Feel free to share!

1 comment:

  1. Perfect words to delight my heart this morning as I had been soaking in Beth Moore's Believing God study right before reading this. Lord increase our faith and count it as righteousness before you! Praying for you friend as you share God's heart in April with these women. The beauty of it, is that over the years of your journey He has already placed the words to share in your heart- may His touch reveal the perfect words and a perfect portrait of His heart laid bare before those women and before you! Love you!


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