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Posts Tagged ‘Swiss Alps’

I’ve been reading a wonderful old book – HINDS FEET ON HIGH PLACES by Hannah Hurnard.

It’s a parable about the journey a girl called ‘Much Afraid’ takes with The Shepherd from the Valley of Humiliation to the High Places.

A crippled, ugly and fearful girl is gradually transformed as she follows the Shepherd and learns to listen to his voice.  At the end of the story her name is changed from ‘Much Afraid’ to ‘Grace and Glory’.

Now some old books are a bit old-fashioned & irrelevant to our lives today – but not this one!  I believe ‘Much Afraid’s’ journey is very similar to the journey each of us must take when we come to know God.

Hannah was inspired to write the story in 1949 on a 3 week visit to Switzerland after her father died.  She was heading back to Israel to continue her missionary work but took some time out to allow God to speak to her in the beauty of the Alps.

She was blessed with a breathtaking view out of her bedroom window of mountain ranges, snow peaks, a lush green valley and fields of colourful flowers.

On 31st May Hannah celebrated her 44th birthday.  However, she awoke to a disappointing thick curtain of mist outside her window.  The mountains, valley and colourful flowers had disappeared.   If someone had never been there before they would never guess what lay beyond the mist.  Hannah felt that all she had loved and rejoiced over was gone.

As she gazed out at the mist she heard God speak to her and recorded his words in her journal:

‘But it is all there’, says the loving Lord, ‘though you cannot see any of it, for it has been completely blotted out and apparently vanished into nothingness.  But, remember, nothing is missing.  It is invisible now but it is waiting to become visible again…. Believe steadfastly in the invisible things.  For the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.’

There are times in our lives when we all must walk through the mist.

One time in my life which comes to mind was when my two boys were under two.  I had begun restoring a shaky relationship with God and was making baby steps in attending church after years of absence.  I was feeling really happy.  Then one afternoon while I was preparing dinner I had a call from my doctor to tell me I had cancer and I needed emergency surgery.

It was one of those times when I felt like God had vanished – that he had forgotten me – or perhaps that he wasn’t there at all.   The mist rolled in and everything I thought was certain became uncertain.

Perhaps you have been there too, or perhaps you are in the mist right now?

These are the times when we need to hold on tight to the truth.  Hannah couldn’t see the magnificent mountains outside her window, but they were still there.  In the same way, no matter what you are going through or will go through, God is still there.  He is working behind the scenes to transform you and give you the strength and courage you need.

As Max Lucado puts it:  “God loves you just the way you are, but He refuses to leave you that way”

Jesus knew what it was to walk in the mist.

If we look at the last supper in a purely physical way, what do we see?

A kind, loving, inspirational young man in his prime – a light in a dark world – about to be betrayed by one of his close friends – to be tortured and killed like a criminal when he had done nothing wrong.

Had God forsaken him?   Had God made a mistake?  Was He powerless to stop this tragedy?  Or worse still, had Jesus put his trust in a mythical God?

If we had been there it would be easy to think so.

Yet behind that mist of sorrow, pain and suffering was an amazing plan – far bigger than our human minds could comprehend.

If we dare to look beyond the physical, we see that it wasn’t a mistake at all but God’s powerful hand reaching out to reconcile mankind to himself.

God had the victory that day over sin and death – and he continues to have the victory in each of our lives if we let him.

We just need to keep trusting him, looking beyond what we can see with our eyes, and focusing on Him.

Perhaps you’ve lost hope.  Perhaps you feel God has let you down, or even that’s he doesn’t exist.

I pray that God will clear away the mist and give you a new perspective and a renewed confidence in his love for you.

No matter how dark today may look, the light will return.   Remember the words Hannah heard in the mist that day:  ‘Believe steadfastly in the invisible things.’    Do this and the victory is already yours.

The Lord God is my strength and he will make my feet like Hinds Feet, and he will make me walk on the High Places.    Habakkuk 3:19

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