Friends, thank you for your patience with me over these last couple of weeks. I have been a little sidetracked from the normal flow of the blog and find it hard to write, let alone read. I ask for your continued grace and prayers as I walk though this season of transition, that God would bring breakthrough and the perfect job for me soon.
Much-Afraid is awoken in the night by a Voice, which she recognized to be that of the Shepherd.
“Take now the promise you received when I called you to follow Me to the High Places, and take the natural longing for human love which you found already growing in your heart when I planted My own love there and go up into the mountains to the place that I will show you. Offer them there as a Burnt Offering unto Me.”
Standing in the doorway of her resting place for the evening, Much-Afraid was given a glimpse of the very place where the next Burnt Offering was to take place Everything there was still covered in midst, and the mountains were completely invisible. There was a rocky ledge over which the great waterfall rushed down the slopes below. Only the lip of the rock over which it poured itself was visible.
“This is the appointed place.” said the Voice.
Much-Afraid and her companions continued to climb, the path now steeper than ever before. Thunder began to roll in the distance and lightening flashed all around. They suddenly heard the sound of running feet behind them, and as they made way for the runners to pass, out of the mist ahead of them appeared Fear, Bitterness, Resentment, Pride and Self-Pity. They appeared to be running for their lives and when they reached the three women shouted for them to turn back. The whole mountainside was shaking from the avalanche and they feared for their lives.
Much-Afraid refused to turn back, having received a commandment to go up to the place where the great fall pours over the rock.
The Voice spoke,
“There is a place prepared for you here beside the path. Wait there until the storm is over.”
The three women came upon a cave with just enough room for them to crouch inside. The rain descended, the floods came and the wind blew, beating upon the mountains until everything around them was shivering and quaking. Flood waters rushed down the steep cliffs and the entire entrance of the cave was covered with the waterfall. However, not one drop fell inside the cave where the three sat tougher on the ground.
This reminded me of the promise in scripture,
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. (Psalm 91:4)
I loved the part of this chapter where Much-Afraid pulled out the rocks of remembrance she had carried with her on the journey. Each one so significantly marking a milestone on her journey with the Shepherd.
Promise #1 – “I will make they feet like hinds’ feet and set thee upon thine High Places.” (Hab. 3:19) Although she had not received hinds feet yet, Much-Afraid realized that she was on higher places than she could have ever imagined.
Promise #2- “What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.” (John 13:7) With tears in her eyes, she realized half of this statement was true and returned the rock to its bag.
Promise #3 – “This is not unto death, but for the glory of God.” (John 11:4) She questioned whether it had not all be for death, considering that He was asking her to offer the promise as a burnt offering.
Promise #4 – “Bread corn is bruised…but no one crushes it forever.” (Isa. 28-29). She absolutely could not part with that one!
Promise #5 – “Cannot I do with you as the Potter? saith the Lord.” (Jer. 18:6) Her response, absolutely yes as she returned the rock to the bag.
Promise #6 – “O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold I will lay they stones with fair colors…” (Isa. 54:11) Weeping now, she returned the rock to the bag.
Promise #7 – “My sheep here My voice, and they follow Me.” (John 10:27) Questioning whether she had really been hearing His voice, or if she had been deceiving herself all along.
Promise #8 – “Now shalt thou see what I will do.” (Exodus 6:1) Remembering the precipice and all that she had come through, she returned the rock to the bag.
Promise #9 – “God is not a man, that He should lie…hath He said, and shall He not do it? or hat He spoken, and shall he not make it good?” (Num. 23:19) She sat trembling with that stone in her hand as she remembered her response, that if ‘thou canst, thou mayest deceive me.’
Promise #10 – “Thine ears shall hear word behind thee, saint, ‘This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.'” (Isa. 30:21)
After the 10th stone was placed in the bag, Much-Afraid picked up an ugly little stone laying on the floor of the cave and dropped it into the bag, alongside the others, proclaiming, “Though He slay me, yet Will I trust in Him.” (Job 13:15)
I can so identity with #10!