The author spoke of a book Hinds' Feet in High Places. The main character is referred to as 'Much Afraid' I thought I would tell you that, because I was confused at first. "Much Afraid...is on a journey with the Good Shepard to the High Places, which symbolizes God's presence. The shepard tells her that He is sending two companions to encourage her on her journey. She expects them to be Joy and Peace. But to her shock and dismay, her travel mates are Sorrow and Suffering. Sorrow and Suffering lead Much Afraid to a desert. Much Afraid calls out to the Shepard." And I'm gonna skip past what she says. "He looked at her and answered very gently, 'That is the path, Much Afraid, and you are to go down there."
The author of the book talked several times about a friend of hers who was a marathon runner. The friend, Valerie, started having severe abdominal pain. She was no longer able to run marathons, she couldnt even walk down stairs. "For the last two of the past five pain-filled years, she had to wear maternity clothes because of the swelling in her abdomen." She went to alot of doctors at all of the best hospitals around the country. They put a shunt in her liver and she was out of her maternity clothes and back into her size 2 jeans for 2 weeks "but then the swelling returned and the doctors said 'we just don't know...'
The author quoted a letter from Valerie:
"Can we speak of God's power only after we've been healed or after we survivethe struggle we find ourselves in? Why are testimonies of how awesome God
is typically announced after the fact? Is there not testimony of His
saving grace in the midst of my crumbling? Can I only proclaim His
goodness in the absence of disease? Doesn't He speak of who He IS in the
agony of my brokeness? Is He less when I am less? NO. He is my
ALL in ALL. I have to stand (even when I've lost my balance) on the solid
rock of Jesus. He is my Sustainer and Redeemer in my weakness. He
knows what it is like to be broken. He alone understands why I can't stand
up. I know nothing, save His power. Maybe that is how I glorify Him:
recognizing I need nothing else, not even my health.
So this is where I am today. It is not pretty. I have no
mountaintop from which to report. This valley seems deep and very
foggy. It can be a lonely place to hang out. But God is here.
If He wasn't. I could not breathe. I trust He is steering, but I
cannot see. He will get me through. I trust. I believe.
I wait. That's all."