How To Overcome Insidious Feelings of Fear and Defeat
Feelings of fear and defeat are insidious and invasive. Your comfort zone and where you hide impact your chance to reach your destiny.
Our home was orderly and yet, I often was confused and frightened. My dad was a perfectionist and had been a sergeant in the army; he expected everything to run perfectly. The problem was, I was a clumsy child and had difficulty getting things right. The harder I tried, the more I failed.
The angrier he became, the more fear gripped me and the less capable I was of performing. Trying to be safe, I withdrew inside my mind. As I hid, I thought I was safe because no one could see into my mind.
Even so, Dad had an eagle eye. He never seemed to miss anything. He would watch me, especially during meal times, to catch me doing something wrong. During WW2 he lost his left eye. My problem was that left eye seemed always to be watching me. So I would pull deeper inside myself to hide. It was many years before I realized his glass eye couldn’t see me!
If one hides or lives in darkness, their eyesight will become be impacted and eventually they may become blind. There is also a spiritual blindness that brings ignorance of the light; as our inner eyes are not used, it causes a darkness of night with blindness to truth.
Shadows Of Reality
Herons are normally blue or gray; they blend into the background of the sky overhead and are unseen by creatures in the water. The Black Heron doesn’t blend with the sky. As it enters shallow water to hunt for food, it hunches itself over, draws its head close to its shoulders, and spreads its wings over its head to form an umbrella like canopy that produces a shadow. It is believed the shadow causes fish to be unaware of danger from the bird watching over them. The Black Heron is patient as it watches. Suddenly, it stabs (and consumes) any prey that comes to rest under its shadow.
The Lord calls us to rest under the shadow of the Almighty; to make His shadow our place of refuge and hope. This shadow is a place of safety where He watches over us to protect, comfort, and bless us.
Shade can be caused by a tree, a rock, a building, even a person. That shadow allows whatever rests beneath it to find shelter from the heat of the sun. The Bible speaks of being overshadowed by God’s love, which shelters us.
Peter, James and John experienced a cloud overshadow them, out of which the voice of God spoke of Jesus being His beloved Son (Matthew 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:34).
The Holy Spirit came upon Mary; overshadowed by the Most High, she conceived the Son of God ( Luke 1:35).
As God overshadows, He brings life, truth, and enables us to see as we turn our eyes onto Christ Jesus. The brightness of the Presence of God was enveloped, or wrapped in cloud so His glory and holiness blessed the person He overshadowed and caused them no harm.
When Moses saw the Lord, He first hid him in the cleft of the rock, under the shadow of His hand, lest His glory kill Moses. God’s shadow brings the blessing, and protection of His presence.
When you or I are frightened, we tend to run to hide under a shadow that feels safe. But that shadow where we rest intercepts light and foreshadows death. Whenever we feel alienated and withdraw, we rest under the shade of the Black Heron. Satan, prince of the power of the air, and all the demonic creatures are likened to birds of prey. (Ephesians 2:2).
Demons work to make us feel safe but they cast a shadow of death over truth as they intercept and cut off the Light of Christ. Through deception, they spread a shadow that feels comfortable and safe to us. But their goal is to destroy us, even as the Black Heron consumes fish that rest under its shadow.
When we rest under feelings of alienation, or depression, or fear, or anger, we come to rest under a shadow behind which hides a spirit that lures us into false safety. Then it cuts off light, foreshadowing death of something beautiful in our life. This second type of shadow of the Black Heron looks innocent, but the shadow of the enemy of our soul ultimately brings death into every facet of our life. Let us be careful which shadow we hide under.
Fish feel safe as they hide under the Black Heron, but their feelings are an illusion.
Feelings are shadows that feel true but deceive us. They rise within our reptilian brain, which cannot reason but can only react. Feelings are powerful; they overwhelm and consume us, they shape what we believe is truth.
If you feel covered by despair, alienation, depression, guilt or shame, your feelings feel real, but they present a false truth. You don’t have to stay under that shadow. You may come into the light.
Alienation denotes a severing of connection, a brokenness, a painful wounding. It brings isolation and unwittingly, we rest under the shadow of death.
There is a way of escape. Be slow to trust feelings of alienation. They may be legitimate, but when we embrace them as if they are reality, those feelings become an augury of the shadow over you, behind which a malevolent personality hides.
Though you are separated from yourself, from God, or from others, you have the power to choose life. Stop speaking bad things over yourself.
Hide Under The Shadow Of The Almighty
Choose to speak a blessing over yourself. The Lord knows you and loves you. He has chosen you. Embrace your chosenness, rather than the lie that overwhelms you with feelings that no one cares.
Be careful not to hide under a shadow of death. Choose to hide in Christ – under the safety of His wing.
The Heron’s shadow is a counterfeit place of refuge whose purpose is to steal life. The Lord warns, “Take heed therefore that the light which is in you is not darkness” ( Luke 11:35 ). Jesus speaks of loss of perception, with inability to discern light from the dark, or truth from the lie. To rest under any shadow other than the Shadow of the Almighty means, like the fish that is overshadowed by the Black Heron, you won’t be able to discern danger.
But “God has delivered us from the power [authority] of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son” (Colossians 1:13).
I grew up walking in fear. I longed to be invisible, to hide where I would be safe from angry eyes or angry voices or upraised hands. It has taken time to find healing because the Black Heron enticed me to find safety in myself. But that always failed and left me wounded.
I have learned to retrain my brain, to develop fresh neuronal pathways where I place myself in the hands of Jesus. Rather than run into the embrace of fear, I have learned to run to the Lord, where I have found safety resting under the shadow of the Almighty.
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Thanks for this helpful post about the choice we have as to which shadow we rest under. The pictures of the herons are especially vivid!
You are welcome, Joy. Thanks for your comment.Yes, it is our choice. I pray you learn to quickly discern what shadow you are resting under.