by Hannah Hurnard
©1975 Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
Reviewed by Deborah Maniatty

I love this book! The first time I read it I could only read one chapter a night. There is just so much meat on every page that I had to spend at least one whole day meditating, praying and repenting before I could go on.

The Lord God is my strength, And He has made my feet like hinds' feet, And makes me walk on my high places. Habakkuk 3:19

I believe there is a Much Afraid in all of us. She is the main character in this allegory of her relationship with the Great Shepherd and His wooing of her into the Kingdom of Love. Before Much Afraid decides to tackle the way to the high places she meets with the Shepherd at their usual trysting place by a stream. It is there that the Shepherd encourages her to leave her old life behind with the promise that He would change her crippled feet to hinds’ feet and make her crooked mouth whole. This could not be accomplished without cost so Much Afraid allows the Shepherd to plant the seed of real love in her heart. He reminds her that if she were ever in trouble all she had to do was call His name and He would be there immediately. Not only that, He provided two companions to help her on her journey. These companions were named Sorrow and Suffering—not exactly the ones she would have chosen. But little by little, Much Afraid learns the secret of humility and surrender.

For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, "I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit. Isaiah 57:15

The journey that Much Afraid takes represents the road we all must travel in order to abide in the Kingdom of Love. Haven’t we all said in our lives at one time or another “with a pang of fear ‘I wonder what he plans to do next, and if it will hurt very much, indeed?’” I can’t count the times I’ve voiced this very same cry to the Lord. But the result is always grace upon grace as I yield to His way fo me.

‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.’ Jeremiah. 29:11-12

After my first journey through with Much Afraid, I was compelled to follow it again and again for several years, as the Lord changed my heart over and over, from glory to glory. For me, this allegory never grows old, but it is new each and every time I pick it up to read.

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in His triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.
2 Corinthians 2:14