Remember when you first discovered your shadow? Chances are you were just a child. Shadows can be scary until their source is identified. A small toy can appear to be a giant monster when the light hits it just right. As we grow, we begin to understand shadows are harmless and they disappear when the light shining on them fades.
A few weeks ago my husband and I listened to an older Gaither Homecoming Video and one of the songs on this particular episode was called: God Is in The Shadows. I couldn’t get the lyrics out of my head. I thought about this song all week, even though I have heard it many times. I began to pray and ask God to show me what He wanted me to understand through these lyrics.
I know there are many scriptures relating to shadows, however, I was already studying in the book of Hebrews, so I turned there and found in chapter 10 verse 1 the following:
“ For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.”
The law was just a shadow of what was to come: The perfect sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. His sacrifice would satisfy once and for all our need for salvation and restore our relationship with our Heavenly Father. What a beautiful picture of hope and restoration Jesus is for us. Jesus is now in the forefront casting a shadow on what once was as it could never be complete, but, now that it is complete through Him, the law now rest in the shadow of Christ.
Continuing to read and study God’s word, I was brought back to a very familiar verse I have read, studied, heard sermons about and even taught using this scripture in Sunday School myself and now here it was in front of me once again. God’s word is awesome in this way. It is alive and living and speaks to us when we take the time to read and really listen.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage, do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 NKJV
Unlike Joshua in Old Testament days, we will not be called to enter into the promised land and conquer the physical giants of that day, but, God’s word speaks to us where we are in our lives. I don’t know what you may be going through, whether facing a terminal illness, the loss of a loved one, loss of a job, chronic illness, depression, addictions and so many other things that could go wrong and create a chasm of hopelessness in our hearts. It doesn’t matter what it is, the message is the same.
I previously read this verse with an attitude of going somewhere such as a mission trip, to school, to work or whatever direction I felt God was calling me and I wasn’t wrong. However a new look at this verse opened my eyes and allowed me to see it’s not just a physical place, but it speaks to all of life. It could be our storms, trials, heartaches, grief, any internal struggle we may be facing, or any addictions we may be facing. The point is for us to have faith, wherever we are in life, God is with us. Whatever it is we are currently facing, He is right there with us. Whatever the thing is that is casting an ugly shadow over your soul, God is there in the shadow with you.
How can we know and be confident of this very thing? By looking at the verses before verse 9. God promises He will be with us. He instructs us to keep His law and do not turn from it to the right or to the left and we may prosper wherever we go. That is prosper God’s way. He also instructs us to meditate in His word day and night so that we do according to all that is in it. When we know God’s word, we know Him and when we walk according to His ways, we obey Him and learn more about Him. When we do what honors God then we will recognize His very presence. His presence becomes evident all around us even in the little things. Instead of looking for Something big, try looking for something true, simple and real. God’s presence is often found in the quiet, simplicity of everyday life when it is honestly lived for His glory.
When we stumble and fall, He is there to help us up and guide us right back to Him. Even in the missteps of our shadows, He is there. In every shadow of our lives His very presence is there and always will be, so we do not have to be afraid for there isn’t a shadow, that can hide His grace. Just like the lyrics of the song says, “God is in the shadows in the valley here below, He is everywhere I go.” God bless.