Just a Shadow
I looked into the mirror as closely as I could and grimaced at the sight of a small, dark spot splattered across my lower back. For two evenings, while getting ready for bed, I’d noticed it. I was officially concerned now. I turned my back towards the plastic rimmed, full length mirror attached to my closet door and twisted my head around at a contorted angle to take a closer peek.
I’d call the doctor in the morning.
I walked into our bedroom and decided to mention it to my husband Jerry. He turned me around by the shoulder, to take a quick peek.
“I don’t see anything.”
He went back to reading his book. I got him to look again. . .and again, he saw nothing. Either God had performed a pretty fast miracle or Jerry was in need of one of his own – to cure his blindness.
I went back into the bathroom and got into position to check for myself. Sure enough, there was that same dark spot, dashed across the small of my back. I went back out to Jerry and we went through the whole exercise a 2nd time, with him thoroughly convinced that it was my head that needed medical attention instead of my back. Finally, I called him into the bathroom, got into position under the shaded bathroom lights and pointed out the bruise I couldn’t believe he’d missed before. He saw it this time and squinted his eyes into tiny slants two inches away from my skin. After a few seconds, he stood upright and then firmly – sarcastically – grabbed my right elbow and swiftly tugged me 6 inches to the right.
He pointed into the mirror at my completely clear lower back, smirked and walked back out into the bedroom.
It was only a shadow.
A change in perspective, changed everything.
Gideon has had a shadow cast across his life and he is deflated, worried and dispirited because of it. His entire existence has fallen prey to a bleak Midianite silhouette marked by violence and devastation that has caused an outline of discouragement to settle itself onto his very soul. The timid farmer is now only a gaunt reflection of his former self. His self-perception has fallen prey to his new reality. So, when the angel of the Lord shows up one day and finds him beating out his portion of wheat in a shaded winepress, his primary goal is to give the soon-to-be judge a swift tug out of the shadows and into a clarifying light of Yahweh’s perspective.
“The Lord is with you, Oh valiant warrior.” – Judges 6:12
Gideon was stunned; not only because he was talking to an angel but also at the stunning and ironic comments that he offered. Cowering silently there in the winepress, for fear of exposure to the enemy, Gideon felt and looked like anything but valiant. By the stretch of anyone’s imagination—including his own—nobody would have described this man as either valiant or as a warrior. But the angel’s view – Yahweh’s view – is not bound by Gideon’s current reality or actions. He sees beyond the exterior and calls out the potential within Gideon, something that the timid man probably didn’t even realize was there. Gideon wasn’t a scared farmer, steeped in insecurity and timidity. That’s how he was behaving but that’s not who he was.
Take a look at yourself and the reality of your current circumstances. Are they, like Gideon’s, steeped in humiliation
Has the shadow of your situation cast a gloomy haze that has blemished the reality of your potential? Are you now unsure of the divine possibility within you? Today, God’s Spirit is tugging you out of those shadows and clearing away the stains that are trying to become permanent fixtures in your soul. This is not who you are. Your entire identity has been redefined by the One who redeemed you with His own life’s blood.
You are loved.
You are forgiven.
You are capable.
You are worthy.
You are victorious.
You are His.
You are who He says you are.
You can do what He says you can do.
Your potential hasn’t fallen prey to your surroundings.
Look again through the lens of God’s Word and you’ll see clearly now.
It’s only a shadow.
A change in perspective . . .changes everything.
*A portion of “Gideon: From Weakness to Strength”. A new Bible study to be released May 2013.