“On the Old Sea Wall” is the eighth chapter in my favorite book, Hinds Feet On High Places. In this chapter the main character, Much-Afraid, is confronted by many hard things. On her journey to The High Places, Much-Afraid finds that the path turns away from her destination, and she is forced to trust in The Shepherd, that he will bring her to The High Places, like he had promised. She is forced to trek through the long and hard journey many of us know, where everything seems to be “swallowed up in pain and a horror of great darkness.” But she learns that in the darkness she can trust.
Earlier on her journey, Much-Afraid encountered a small little flower growing in the desert in a crack where one lonely pipe dripped a bit of water, enough to keep the flower growing. When Much-Afraid asked the flower for its name, it responded, “Behold me! My name is Acceptance-with-Joy!”
When Much-Afraid was confronted with so much lost hope and disappointment on the old sea wall, she examined her heart to see a new and beautiful thing growing there. It was the little golden flower, Acceptance-with-Joy. Much-Afraid knew that she must forfeit her conceptions of The Shepherds plans, and submit to the journey that he had set her on. She placed her heart on the altar and said, “Behold me, here I am; thy little handmaiden, Acceptance-with-Joy and all that is in my heart is thine.”
I have found myself in Much-Afraid’s position many times before. Sometimes I find that my life has been changed in very big ways that I didn’t anticipate–and often that I really don’t like. But most times it is the little things, the daily things, where my feeble heart it reminded that my idea of a journey is not the same as the Lord’s. After many times in Much-Afraid’s place at the old sea wall, I still find myself disappointed when my path takes an unexpected turn. I get frustrated when I don’t understand where the Lord is taking me, even when I can trust that “he will make my feet like hind’s feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places” (Habakkuk 3:19). I still have a grand sting of pride that for a moment thinks I have a better plan than the God of the Universe. I get upset when my plans are altered, as if my future were really in my own hands at all. I have learned full-well (though I sometimes still doubt) that His plans are much better than mine in the end, anyway, and to be disappointed in better-ness is nothing short of crazy. So when I find myself frustrated in a plot-twist or path-turn, I remember the little golden flower that grew where there was barely water to grow, and barely nutrients to live. With that I offer my heart to the Lord saying, “Behold me, here I am; thy little handmaiden Acceptance-wtih-Joy and all that is in my heart is thine.”