She agreed to follow the Chief Shepherd to the High Places. Instead he led her into the desert. Now she was confused.
Hannah Hurnard was born to a well-to-do English family, but shyness and a speech impediment made life miserable. It wasn’t until she turned nineteen that she finally discovered happiness. Sensing God’s call on her life to mission work, she began traveling with the Friends’ Evangelist Band spreading the gospel in England and Ireland.
In 1955, Hannah began composing the allegory Hinds’ Feet on High Places. Published in 1975, the work describes Much-Afraid’s decision to follow the Chief Shepherd to the High Places. She imagined an easy journey but discovered it required trusting the Chief Shepherd through turmoil, temptation, enemy assault and hot sand. As he reminded her; “All of my servants on the way to the High Places have had to make this detour through the desert.”
The psalmist discovered the same. Out of the depths I cry to you, LORD; Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy. (Psalm 130:1-2)I too have wandered in the desert.
Assuming following Christ makes all problems and difficulties disappear only sets us up for disappointment and bitterness. Jesus dispelled this illusion when he said; In this world you will have trouble. (John 16:33)
The key to victory through desert dwelling is believing what proceeds and follows the middle of the verse: in me you may have peace and But take heart! I have overcome the world. Clinging to God’s truths gives peace in our deserts, and believing he has overcome gives us confidence we will too. Trust God’s heart even when you can’t trace his hand.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we trust You to bring us through life’s trials and usher us victoriously into Your High Place.