Sunday, October 6, 2013

Lost in the Shadow

I was reading a meditation last week from one of my favorite devotionals ("Streams In The Desert") when my attention was drawn to a story written by the great preacher Charles H. Spurgeon. The story in a nutshell described a little plant whose growth was stunted because it lived in the shadow of a giant oak tree. The plant was not disturbed because of the mighty oak but relished the quiet rest that the oak provided it. The story goes on to describe how the mighty oak was felled one day by the axe of a woodsman. The plant panicked, fearing it would now remain unprotected from the fierce winds which threatened to uproot it. However, the plant had a guardian angel which comforted and reassured the plant that its exposure was a great blessing. The guardian angel informed the plant that now it would receive the full power of sunlight and receive an abundance of water when showers fell. As a result the plant would spring up into loveliness and flowers that had previously been hampered from displaying their full beauty would now flourish. Moreover, people would now notice the beauty of the plant which up until now was ignored as a result of being hidden in the shade. What spoke to my heart was one of the questions that the meditation posed at the end of the story, "Is the Lord uncovering your gifts and causing them to grow?" I confess that I have been like that little plant covered up in the shadow of others. I have been content to rest in the quiet unassuming position of allowing others to lead and shepherd God's people while I watched in the background. Now that the Lord has removed those "oaks" and moved me towards a church plant, I feel exposed and vulnerable. I fear that I will be victimized by all who do not believe I should be planting a church or leading because I am a woman. However, I too have One who is watching over me and I hear His words speak to my spirit using the words that the guardian angel spoke to the plant, "Now your stunted form will spring up into loveliness and your flowers, which could never have grown to full perfection in the shade, will laugh in the sunshine. And people in amazement will say, 'Look how that plant has grown! How gloriously beautiful it has become by removing that which was its shade and its delight." (Charles H. Spurgeon) The Lord needed to move me from under the shadow of others, in essence out of my comfort zone, so I can fully mature by walking through the difficult places depending solely on Him. A second question at the end of the story further challenged me, "Should you not then use every gift and weapon He has given you to become a conqueror?" The answer is yes! Paul reminds us, "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." (Romans 8:37) Additionally, David implores God to,"Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings." (Psalm 17:8) In God's shadow there is protection against oppression and His "wings" are a metaphor for the protective outreach of His power. So what about you? Are your gifts lost in the shadows or is the power of the Most High overshadowing you? Is he calling you out of complacency to experience complete and full growth in His Son? Come out of the shadows and let the world see the beauty of God reflected in your life.
Peace In Christ!
Pastor Sheree





2 comments:

  1. how can we be vulnerable without being used - God knows how - moving toward His promise with you - J

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  2. Thank you for your reply JDot. Sorry for the delay in responding, I don't look at my blog as often as I would like.
    Sheree

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