Have you ever read a quote, sentence, poem, tweet, or book that just really affected your life and the way you think? About two years ago I had a book recommended to me, it was called "Hinds Feet on High Places". As this person was describing the book to me, I KNEW I needed to read it but naturally being the stubborn 20-something year old that I am, decided I didn't want to because it of course sounded way too close to my life situation and I didn't want to deal with that. However, God is super funny and loves to laugh because on a mission trip to Portland we had some free time and went to this massive book store called 'Powell's'. It was amazing, I never wanted to leave. Of course, as I am looking through books, searching for a specific book I had been wanting to read, naturally the first book I looked at one the shelf was "Hinds Feet on High Places." I swear, God loves to play practical jokes. To keep it short, I bought it, I read it, I cried, I threw it, I loved it.
To give a brief description of the book, it was written by a woman named Hannah Hurnard, an England based author who would later become a missionary. 'Hinds Feet on High Places' has become her most well-known and best-selling book. Written as an allegory it dramatizes the yearning of God's children to reach new heights of love, joy and victory. You follow the journey of Much-Afraid as she walks through and overcomes dangers and struggles to finally be brought to the High Places by the Shepherd and her guides.
Throughout the journey, Much-Afraid would get to a place where she felt she couldn't keep going. A place I feel all of us have been in at least once before. In that place, Much-Afraid would call upon the Shepherd for help and there He would be in all His glory. Speaking of the fear, and doubt that filled Much-Afraid's soul, the Shepherd would speak with calmness, peace, and wisdom. Each time Much-Afraid landed in these seasons, the Shepherd would have Much-Afraid create an altar, representing the laying down of our own will and trusting in the Shepherd to guide and lead. When the altar was completed a fire would appear and then a stone would be revealed. It would be picked up and placed in a bag to be carried throughout the journey as a covenant. I won't spoil the ending, but friends, it's good.
This was the part that really hit me as I was reading, the altars, the stones. I've landed in seasons of wanting to quit more times than I would like to think, but it's true. I've run myself into the ground only to be picked up by grace, truth, and love. In 1 Samuel 7 a man named Samuel had taken a stone a set it up between two places, he called it an Ebenezer saying "thus far the Lord has helped us." At each part of our journey we have these opportunities to create an altar and pick up a stone and to say 'thus far the Lord has helped me.' To say 'Father, I trust in you, I'm scared and weak, but I trust you.' I recently got a new tattoo with this meaning behind it. Every time I look at it I see the mountains that God is leading me towards to get my hinds feet. Then I see the stones piled into an altar as a reminder of the times the Lord has stood by my side and helped me. No matter your journey, we all need reminders of where we have come from and where we are going. This is my Ebenezer.
What are some of the Ebenezer's in your life? Where are you needing to surrender to the Lord and pick up a stone?
From one human to the next,