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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Do Not Fear The Shadows

“On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night,
Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.”
Psalm 63:6-7 NIV
Most of my days are happy! I am a joyful person because I love Jesus. My husband is considerate and loving, my children keep in touch, and my grandchildren can paint a smile on my face as quick as their dancing eyes can flash a mischievous twinkle. I have female friends that surround me with laughter and kindness. I love my home. I love my church. I feel good most of the time. I enjoy hobbies that provide inspiration, pleasure and relaxation for my creative heart. If all of this is true, why then do I find the shadows in life so disturbing?
Shadows hide light rays. Shadows limit clarity and keep us from seeing things clearly. Because I can only see a trace of an object I begin to doubt if what I am seeing is really true. Shadows can cast gloom and can be upsetting to me because I am only able to see faintly what I desperately hope to see clearly. Shadows cast darkness between today and the future. Shadows can conjure up fear of what I perceive might happen and fear is a powerful joy buster!
As a believer I am thrilled to tell you that not all shadows are bad. Life can throw us a curve but there is a shadow of safety for me when I trust my Lord. I may feel like I am in the valley of the shadow of death but the Psalmist reminds me in Psalm 23:4 that I am “passing through” this difficult time. I must remind myself that I will not remain in this situation forever.
One of my favorite visuals is found in Psalm 17:8b. David asks the Lord to, “…hide me in the shadow of your wings”. This is a visual of the Almighty God spreading his wings in such a fashion that protects us from the storm. I am very well aware that there have been many storms in my life, but I can’t help wondering how many storms God has totally protected me from in the past. I am sure that I am not aware of how merciful to me God has been in the past.  These were the storms that were not allowed to touch me because I was under his wings! Now that is a shadow I love! There is no fear in that shadow and I can do the dance of joy because I know beyond a shadow of doubt, God keeps an all seeing eye on me and all those I love. Psalm 36:7 says, “How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.”  I love that God is no respecter of persons, he offers refuge to both those in high and low positions. Isaiah 51:16 reminds me that the shadow of God’s almighty and protective hand also covers me.
Fear at times can be crippling. We so want to know what is ahead provided it is good! But God allows the shadows so that we might trust him. If I listen, I can also hear him say, "Do not be afraid, for I am with you". Today in the garden it is good to think about some of the shadows that are presently falling in my heart’s garden. Where is fear lurking in the shadows ready to steal my joy? Today I want to look up to Jesus and simply say, “Lord Jesus, I trust you with the shadows in my life”.  If I am to fear anything I will fear that I will not be willing to give you the shadows that have the potential to reach out and grab my heart in crippling fear, and that such fear would thrive and rob me of today’s joy and sunshine. I know that if I will but look around me I will find plenty of reason for gratitude. The truth is that gratitude always leads to joy. So this day I choose to look upward to the light of his love. I will refuse to focus on the shadows but rather I will I will choose to live joyously. I will bask in God’s love, his mercy and his grace. I will express to God my gratitude for all he so graciously provides me with. In this moment of divine truth my eyes focus of a patch of gorgeous golden lantana! It is indeed beautiful and without a doubt shouts for joy! Jesus taught that if a man refuses to praise him, no need to worry, because the stones will cry out in praise to him!
In a new wave of devotion for my Savior I realize that if I am to walk in any shadow in this life I want it to be the shadow of my Savior. He has been my help in days gone by, he is my help this very moment, and he will be my help in the future! I may not see his face because the shadow that falls between earth and heaven prevents me from seeing him clearly. Nevertheless, I am reminded of the truth that in this life I am seeing through a glass darkly, but someday soon it will all be made new. I will see clearly the face of Jesus and I will understand the “why” of all the shadows that surrounded my life on earth. Until that day I find there is refuge in the shadow of my Lord. This shadow must not be a place of fear but rather a place of trust and in the shadow of HIS wings I will choose to sing for joy!

  1. Are there shadows in your life?
  2. Have these shadows left you with feelings of fear or joy?
  3. Have you ever considered that there may have been many times when the shadow of God’s wing of protection has hidden you from the enemy?
  4. How will you view the shadows of uncertainty in the future?
Dear God,
Thank you for all of the many times you have hidden me from my enemy, Satan and from disaster. Even though I may not realize those times until I am in heaven, I anticipate with great joy having those times revealed to me. God, I love both your seen and your unseen protection and your guidance. I am grateful for your comfort when I am surrounded by an unwanted shadow.  I love that the shadow of your hand covers me now and the shadow of your wing at times has protected me in the past. Because of these amazing shadows I can sing for joy! Forgive me Lord when I despise and fear the shadows. Go before me so that I may walk in your shadow of goodness. Father, help me to focus on your love as I walk with you. I know that someday the shadows of earth will pass away and I will experience the pure light of eternal joy.
In your Son’s name I pray. Amen.