Shadows are dark shapes that appear on a surface when someone or something moves between the surface and a source of light.
You are the surface. Your situation is the obstruction. God is the light. Behold, there’s a shadow.
But you’re made to live in light. Not darkness. You’re made to walk in sunshine. Not shadows.
“This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all” (1 John 1:5 NLT).
So let me get this straight. Any time someone or something stands between you and God, you walk through a shadow. Keep that in mind.
Today, God wants you to rediscover His presence in the valley because He’s closer than you think.
David writes, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…” (Psalm 23:4 KJV).
Have you ever found yourself in the valley? You know, the dry seasons of life. Depression runs rampant. Brokenness is the norm. Worries. Hurts. Fears. Sins. Struggles. Does the list ever end?
Valleys are inevitable. Nobody is exempt from facing difficulty. It’s a fallen world—a world that lies in death’s shadow. You see, ever since Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, death has cast a shadow on humanity. Why? Because sinful people cannot stand in the presence of God. So now all people—yes, including you and me, are naturally born into sin. As a result, we are separated from God by a big shadow called death. What causes this shadow? The obstruction called sin.
But thankfully, “When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners” (Romans 5:6 NLT).
“This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault” (Colossians 1:21-22 NLT).
If you accept Jesus, death’s shadow cannot separate you from God’s presence.
After all, Paul says, “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39 NLT).
Situations may surround us, but shadows need not cover us.
Remember, any time someone or something stands between you and God, there’s a shadow. But the closer you stay to the light, the harder it is for shadows to cover you.
After talking about the valley, the Psalmist continues, “…I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4 KJV).
Oh, the peace of knowing God is near. I mean, if someone is within reach of God’s rod and staff, they’re pretty close to Him! Today, the relationship between God and His people is restored because of Jesus. In other words, God is near to those who accept His Son.
“So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth” (1 John 1:6 NLT).
Here’s my message to you today. When you find yourself in the valley… when you encounter difficulty… when the struggles try to take over, practice the truth. With Jesus, there’s no reason to live under a shadow. With Jesus, you’re children of the light (see 1 Thessalonians 5:5).
Look at your circumstances with the right perspective. Do you see the situation or the Savior? Do you see the struggle or the strength? The obstacle or the opportunity?
God is near. There is light. Step out of the darkness!
Isaiah Pauley will be a senior at Wahama High School this fall. His blogs and videos can be found at www.crosswordsblog.weebly.com