I have been disappointed lately. Doors were opening and a new direction seemed laid out for my life. Though this new direction would come with a whirl wind of change (some of which I was fearful) I had embraced whatever God put before me. Or so I thought.
I have been reading “Hinds Feet on High Places” by Hannah Hurnard. Much-Afraid, the leading lady, decides to leave her home, the valley of Humiliation, and dare to reach the High Places at the invitation of the Shepherd. She was even given companions to aid her travel as she had a deformed foot, a limp and cleft pallet. Her companions were Sorrow and Suffering.
There comes a time in the journey where Much-Afraid had followed the Shepherd into the desert of Egypt and then spent many weeks traveling along the shore of the Sea of Loneliness with nary any life along the way. When at last the path led away from the shores of Loneliness and back towards the mountains, Much-Afraid began to rejoice and to race ahead of her companions. All was joy until she came to a place in the path where it turned, away from the mountains once more. Her heart was broken and disappointment reigned.
Her relatives, Resentment, Self-Pity and Bitterness, had lain in wait for her at this moment. In mockery they laughed and laughed at her current state. But quietly she said “My Lord, what dost Thou want to say to me? Speak – for They servant heareth.” In a moment the Shepherd was standing beside her. He asked her to build an altar and there lay her whole and entire will.
In the moment of reading this story I realized that I had accepted whatever God put before me to do– except go ‘back.’ ‘Back’ is not bad at all. ‘Back’ is home, where friends who are family surround us and love us, but it was not the ‘forward’ in which I had begun to hope.
So, another altar built, another layer of my will laid down.
And now the walk, through the seemingly ordinariness of life, where I expect to meet the Shepherd soon with new direction, new hope, and new purpose! And the best part – that my joy will return. Joy that is backed by the hidden and quiet struggles of the heart.
See a new blog called: Still, But not Quiet to delve into the acquisition of joy! www.mjalcorn.wordpress.com
May you find your joy today, even in the ordinariness of life.