We have to live our common-sense life in a common-sense way.
Do you remember this old chorus?
Following Jesus every day by day,
Nothing can harm me while He leads the way,
Sunshine or shadow, whate’er befall,
Jesus my Saviour is my ALL in all.
Early one morning I remembered it and as I was singing it, several thoughts tumbled into my mind and continued to multiply for this meditation.
I pictured myself walking along a street on a cloudy day. It wasn’t raining but the sky was heavy and threatening with dark clouds. I could see nothing of the sun. Clouds in the sky blocked my view of the sun and shut it out completely. Sin in my life will block my view of God and shut Him out completely.
On that same street I’m walking again and this is a sunny day so I see the sunshine. Also, I see something else. In front of me there is a shadow, my shadow. How come? What does it mean? My shadow in front of me proves that God’s sunshine is right behind me. This is good and necessary in the natural realm but is there any application for personal experience in the spiritual realm? God (1 John 1:5) is light, Jesus (John 8:12) is light, The Word of God (Psalms 119:105) is light and we believers (1Thessalonians 5:5) are the children of light. We need not be in the darkness of confusion. In your life and mine why are there often shadows in front of us? These shadows are our own shadows, personally designed by God for us individually to prepare us for the sunshine of blessing which always follows God-given shadows. I saw a good example of this when Jeremiah (Jeremiah 18:4) took me to the potter’s house. I saw a vessel that was not strictly in accord or true to the potter’s original intention and design for it. So, he put it back on the wheel and reworked it; then formed it into a vessel that seemed good to him, a vessel which pleased him.
Like that first unsatisfactory vessel, I am not yet fully and completely what the Master Potter, wants me to be. So, God sends into my life whatever shadows are necessary to rework me and bring me into the sunshine of blessing, having made me a vessel that pleases Him. The shadows are the promise of the following sunshine. No shadows – no sunshine. The darker the shadows – the brighter the sunshine.
Joseph saw the shadows stretch out menacing fingers (Genesis 39:20) across his prison walls. He didn’t know back then that these shadows would prepare him for the sunshine of (Genesis 45:7, Genesis 45:18) keeping his entire family from starvation and have them settle in a prosperous dwelling place.
Everyday, I experience the shadows of increasing handicaps and the sunshine of God’s enabling power. I am truly learning the blessings of blindness as God (Ephesians 1:18) floods the eyes of my heart with light so that I understand all to which He has called me. With my magnifier and a little bit of sight in the corner of one eye, I continue to be able to see, though not clearly, my Bible which is the richest treasure I own. No matter how difficult, it pays huge dividends and rich rewards as my loving patient Teacher, the Holy Spirit, continually enlightens my spiritual eyes to see more of the beauty and scope of the eternal riches, the jewels in the deep recesses of the bottomless treasure chest of my Bible. There is no way I would exchange the magnificent wealth of these inner riches for the restoration and complete healing of all my physical difficulties. It would be like trading diamonds for pebbles. I find this truth to be a liberating faith-boosting reality in every shadow because I know that sunshine always follows at exactly the right time.
You can choose to let sin cloud your sky, your life, block out your view of God and shut Him out completely. BUT - - how much wiser and better to thank the Lord for the passing shadows and wait confidently with full assurance for the sunshine which is the hidden treasure in every God-given shadow. The shadows are the guarantee of blessing. At the present time things seem to be worsening physically for me. I can understand why and I’m thankful that God chose this particular time to give me these wonderful thoughts and insights about shadows and sunshine. The blessing of sunshine is hidden in the God-given shadows and will emerge at the Lord’s perfect time. The shadows are gifts which can’t be opened right away but definitely will be. The tranquillity of God (Ecclesiastes 5:20) can be and should be mirrored in me.
The Lord engineers all our circumstances and He energises us (1 Thessalonians 5:24) to obey Him (1 Corinthians 10:31) in these circumstances. (Oswald Chambers) “Beware of thinking that the shallow things of life are not ordained of God; they are as much of God as the profound. We have to live our surface common-sense life in a common-sense way”. We can add this verse to everything the Lord does world-wide and personally in our lives. God saw (Genesis 1:31) that it was very good.
As you and I evaluate the way we live our lives and contemplate what we value, we need to listen to these words which are brimming over with wisdom. They were spoken by Nate Saint, a martyred missionary.
“He is no fool who loses what he cannot keep in order to gain
what he cannot lose”.
By the power of the Holy Spirit I want to so live the real life (Colossians 3:3) that is hidden with Christ in God, that Christ in me can never be hidden.