Monday, January 9, 2017

Mountains of Spices

Several years ago, I read "Hinds' Feet on High Places" by Hannah Hurnard. I'm pretty sure I also read the sequel "Mountains of Spices." Regardless, I was probably in middle school, so when the snow days at home and no work prompted me to find a book in the house to reread, I picked up "Mountains of Spices."

I've only read the first five chapters so far and found such sweet refreshment. 

The book opens with this verse: Song of Solomon 8:14

Make hast, my beloved, 
and be like a gazelle
or a young stag
on the mountains of spices.

With this passion, we encountered the transformed main character from the previous book, "Hinds' Feet on High Places." This book is about her life as she returns to the valley from where she came after her experience of finding the Shepherd-King and having the flower of love planted in her heart.

As she reenters "normal" life, Grace and Glory is known by her new name, and people from the village and her very own family grapple with what such a changed identity means. She is no longer Much-Afraid, but crowned with Grace and Glory, and walks and lives in sweet confidence of her Lord.  

I love this book because it deals with the challenges of returning from mountain-top experiences and the sweet intimacy with the Lord that spurs us onward. Grace and Glory continually seeks out the Shepherd-King in order to maintain communion and to grow in how to practically help those around her.

We experience mountain-top experiences, where the revelation of the Holy Spirit burns freshly in our hearts, and where communion with Jesus is easy and quick. 

Yet, we eventually return to daily life. I go to work. I pay bills. I visit friends and family.

AND, God is good. And God speaks into the moments when I don't know how to share His love with someone, or don't know how to respond tenderly when someone responds to me harshly, or when I don't know how to be faithful to what I know from the mountain-top.

As I read this book, I'm encouraged to read more of the wisdom literature of the Old Testament, the Book of Job, Psalms, the Book of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon, and read of the romance of Jesus' pursuit of us. As Jesus seeks my heart, I fall more in love with His heart, and He aligns my heart with His desires and transforms my heart.


The passage below is one that I continually return to, as I hear to song that Jesus sings over me, encourages me with, and pursues me with. It is with this song that Abba Father calls me Daughter. It is with this song that God is in charge at the center and that God is my King. 

Zephaniah 3:14-20

4-15 So sing, Daughter Zion!
    Raise the rafters, Israel!
Daughter Jerusalem,
    be happy! celebrate!
God has reversed his judgments against you
    and sent your enemies off chasing their tails.
From now on, God is Israel’s king,
    in charge at the center.
There’s nothing to fear from evil
    ever again!

God Is Present Among You

16-17 Jerusalem will be told:
    “Don’t be afraid.
Dear Zion,
    don’t despair.
Your God is present among you,
    a strong Warrior there to save you.
Happy to have you back, he’ll calm you with his love
    and delight you with his songs.
18-20 “The accumulated sorrows of your exile
    will dissipate.
I, your God, will get rid of them for you.
    You’ve carried those burdens long enough.
At the same time, I’ll get rid of all those
    who’ve made your life miserable.
I’ll heal the maimed;
    I’ll bring home the homeless.
In the very countries where they were hated
    they will be venerated.
On Judgment Day
    I’ll bring you back home—a great family gathering!
You’ll be famous and honored
    all over the world.
You’ll see it with your own eyes—
    all those painful partings turned into reunions!”
        God’s Promise.

May God bless you and keep you, may He make His face shine upon you, and give you peace. Amen.
Shalom, Rose