Monday, September 29, 2008

Come out of the Shadows

Come out of the Shadows

I just watched Nim's Island last night. If you haven't seen it, you should (in my humble opinion). The author in the movie writes about this fantastic hero, much like an Indiana Jones. His name is Alex Rover. The real Alex Rover however hasn't left her home in 16 years and is deathly terrified of the outside world. Someone desperately needs her help and she's afraid to walk out the front door. Many days I'm not far from being Alex Rover the writer instead of Alex Rover the adventurer.

A couple of months ago I woke up several times one night and over and over all I heard was "It's time to come out of the shadows". I would go back to sleep and wake up only to have the same thing happen. Being slow it took several times before I got up and prayed about it. After some prayer and reading the Bible I knew God was calling me out of that fear I had walked in for so long. Of course why wouldn't He, but I knew it was more than just for me.

I've been reading Red Letters by Tom Davis, president of Children's HopeChest. He knows first hand what it means to work with those considered the least in the world's eyes and how much they mean to the heart of God. At the same time I've been going through The Art of Listening Prayer by Seth Barnes, because I'm always intrigued by books on prayer and I look up to him for what he's doing to disciple others.

Anyway as I was reading Red Letters I came across one paragraph that made me stop in my tracks. Actually there were several paragraphs that have done that to me so far and made me have to consider a few things, but this one was quite personal. The paragraph? Page 91 as follows:

"So why don't we do more to help others? Sadly, many of us live in a world of shadows. In the realm of shadows, we seek only those things that help us to remain in the fog of comfort and safety. This isn't to say that comfort and safety are bad things, but when we fall into the trance of believing they are the only things, we become isolated from greater truths. Two things keep us in the shadows: discomfort with interruption and fear."

The first thing that I was reminded of was that night I woke up so many times to the words "It's time to come out of the shadows." Because I'm sure God knows my tendancy to think, "I so didn't hear that right" it was like a "just in case you didn't believe me the first time, I'm telling you again" moment.

Who wants to be the person living out life through a fictitional character or even through someone else's experiences and writings? I don't want my fears to stand in the way of lives being saved. I want to come to a place where it's ok if you interrupt my day, where change doesn't throw me into panic and where knowing God has called me there is enough and no fear is powerful enough to hold me back. I'm not there but I'm quite certain I'm about to get a few lessons in all of those.

God calls us out of the shadows into His marvelous light. It may not be comfortable and it's probably safe to say that it won't be. It's like waking up in the morning - it takes a while to adjust to the bright light. It's not comfortable at first. It's almost painful and you may feel like hiding from it but after a few minutes you can see so much clearer.