For most of my life, I have felt like Charlie Brown. You remember the Halloween show where everyone received candy and all Charlie Brown received in his bag were rocks? Well, that is how I have felt for most of my life. I’ve had to struggle for everything I have been given and every time it looked I was going to catch a break, all I received was a rock. I would get frustrated and discouraged and it would take time for the Lord to lift me out of the pit of despondency
This went on for quite some time until I read a book entitled “Hinds Feet. On High Places.” It was an allegory (much like Piglrim’s Progress) that was about a character named Much-Afraid. As you can guess, Much-Afraid was afraid of just about everything. She worked in the Valley of Humiliation with her family headed up by Old Fearing, Sir Arrrogant, Umbrange, Resentment, Craven Fear, and others.
Much-Afraid worked in the valley under The Shepherd. She was disfigured. She had crooked feet and a disfigured mouth. The Shepherd promised her that one day He would take her to the High Places and she would receive true love in her heart and a new name, if she would undertake the journey to the High Places. So Much-Afraid, much to the dismay of her relatives, who did not want her to leave the valley of Humiliation, decided to make the journey so that she would receive her hind’s feet and be able to go to the High Places and be with The Shepherd always.
Much-Afraid’s journey was given two companions to accompany and help her. Their names were Sorrow and Suffering. At first, Much-Afraid was scared of her companions, but they proved to be the very ones that helped her the most on her journey.
The journey was perilous at times and often lonely. Much-Afraid had to traverse deserts, walk along the Wall of Loneliness, and at times her journey took her away from the High Places, which discouraged her. Throughout the journey, Much-Afraid learned many lessons. After each lesson, she would build an alter of sticks. The sacrifices that she made were consumed on the alter and in its place, she would find a stone, which she placed in a bag that she kept around her waist. She collected twelve stones along her long and perilous (and often tedious) journey.
Towards the end of her journey, when she was in a precipitous place, Much-Afraid became discouraged and started to throw her stones away. She took them out of her bag, one by one, and recalled the lessons that she had learned and the promises that The Shepherd had given to her with each one. She discovered that the stones were too precious to her because of the lessons, so she put them back in her bag.
At the end of her journey, after she had offered herself and her heart to The Shepherd and it appeared He had not given her her hind’s feet, nor kept his promise, she offered herself and her heart on His alter and He ripped out what was in her heart and she passed out. When she had awakened, she found herself wrapped in coverings of sweet spices. She was laying by a stream of crystal-clear water. She bathed herself in the stream and when she came out of the water, she found that her feet were no longer crooked and her face was no longer disfigured. The Shepherd had indeed kept His promise to her!
When she met up with The Shepherd after a few days of resting and refreshing herself in the life-giving waters, He placed a circlet of gold upon her head. He asked her for the stones that were in her bag. When He pulled out each one, they were precious jewels, which he placed upon the crown upon her head. The stones that she had thought were quite worthless were really jewels of great price, meant for the crown of life that The Shepherd had promised to her. How glad she was that she had not thrown those stones away! The Shepherd gave her a new name. No longer was she Much-Afraid. (I won’t tell you her new name so that you can read the book and discover it for yourself. For, you, too, will no longer be Much-Afraid—of anything!—once you decide to follow The Shepherd where he leads you and make your own journey to the High Places of God.
I am grateful for all of the “rocks” that I have been given along my journey of life. For I know that they, too, will end up as jewels of great price on the crown that The Shepherd will place upon my head one day. And that day will come much sooner rather than later, though it appears that the delays and setbacks are taking me farther away from the High Places and I am not getting there as fast as I would like. But I WILL get there. For I have The Great Shepherd to guide me and He goes before me, preparing my way. All I have to do is follow Him.
If you are afraid (of anything), I invite you on the journey to the High Places in God. He will give you a new name and hind’s feet so that you will be able to traverse the mountains in your life with great ease and agility.
My journey to the High Places will soon end in victory. When will yours begin?