I am reading "Hind's Feet on High Places" again. It is the bestseller written by Hannah Hurnard about Much-Afraid, who comes from the family of Fearings but works for the Chief Shepherd. Much-Afraid had a limp and was, well, terribly afraid of her relatives, the Fearings. The Shepherd offered to change her name and take her to the High Places, where she does not have to marry her detestable cousin Craven Fear, and where her relative, the cunning and confident Pride, could not taunt and belittle her.
The condition was that she had to go through a perilous journey with Sorrow and Suffering (in the flesh) as her silent companions, in order for her to develop hind's feet. She could not see the Shepherd all the time, but she only had to call him and he would be by her side, immediately.
Once, she had to make a Detour in the Desert. Much-Afraid asked her beloved Shepherd why the path seemed to be leading her away from the High Places, and she refused to budge. One gentle look from the Shepherd melted her, however, and his question echoed through the empty hollows of my heart. He asked, "Will you follow me, Much Afraid, even if there is a seeming delay in my promise, and there is a detour into the desert? Will you trust that I love you and that I will fulfill my promise after this?"
As you can see, this book is not light reading. I have to put it down and meditate after every paragraph. It speaks to my relationship right now with Jesus. Have I forgotten His promise? Have I waned in my faith? Have I been listening to pride, and fear, and the other negative emotions that take away my hope and my joy? Perhaps it is not too late to take up Sorrow and Suffering's hands again and to continue my journey.
Last weekend, I went to a high place, because of a friend who lent us his family's rest house. I had a fantastic view of the mountains and the seas. I saw goats and sheep, and reflected on their existence based on the themes of the book I'm reading. Yes, the Lord took me to a very restful place with beautiful companions, and I was recharged.
I will go through a different kind of retreat in the next few months. It is something that is directed and programmed, but also something that I have been avoiding for some time now. I am tired of running. I don't have hind's feet to sustain it yet. But I know they will come, in time.