Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Original Blog Post: March 18, 2009- Good Reading For Hard Times

I'd read Hind's Feet On High Places by Hannah Hurnard many, many years ago.  I thought it was a good book, it had some pretty deep parts and I enjoyed it.  But reading it now, after the past few months, it has taken on so much more meaning.  This part really spoke to me:
'Here are the two guides which I promised,' said the Shepherd quietly. 'From now on until you are over the steep and difficult places, they will be your companions and helpers. . . As for their names . . . This,' said he, motioning toward the first of the silent figures, 'is named Sorrow.  And the other is her twin sister, Suffering.'
Poor Much-Afraid!  Her cheeks  blanched and she began to tremble from head to foot.  She felt so like fainting that she clung to the Shepherd for support.
'I can't go with them,' she gasped.  'I can't!  I can't!  O my Lord Shepherd, why do you do this to me?  How can I travel in their company?  It is more than I can bear.  You tell me that the mountain way itself is so steep and difficult that I cannot climb it alone.  Then why, oh, why, must you make Sorrow and Suffering my companions?  Couldn't you have given Joy and Peace to go with me, to strengthen me and encourage me and help me on the difficult way?  I never thought you would do this to me!'  And she burst into tears.
A strange look passed over the Shepherd's face as he listened to this outburst, then looking at the veiled figures as he spoke, he answered very gently, 'Joy and Peace.  Are those the companions you would choose for yourself?  You remember your promise, to accept the helpers that I would give, because you believed that I would choose the very best possible guides for you.  Will you still trust me, Much-Afraid?  Will you go with them, or do you wish to turn back to the Valley, and to all your Fearing relatives?
Much-Afraid shuddered.  The choice seemed terrible.  Fear she knew only too well, but Sorrow and Suffering had always seemed to her the two most terrifying things which she could encounter.  How could she go with them and abandon herself to their power and control?  It was impossible.  Then she looked at the Shepherd and suddenly knew she could not doubt him, could not possibly turn back from following him; that if she were unfit and unable to love anyone else in the world, yet in her trembling, miserable little heart, she did love him.  Even if he asked the impossilbe, she could not refuse.
She looked at him piteously, then said, 'Do I wish to turn back?  O Shepherd, to whom should I go?  In all the world I have no one but you.  Help me to follow you, even though it seems imposssible.  Help me to trust you as much as I long to love you.'

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