Shadows can be daunting. Sometimes they create wild images in our minds to what might be lurking on the path we are to walk or the place we are to settle for a stretch. But other times, they help us see the shape of who is walking beside us a little more clearly as we make our passage through the darkness and into the light.
One of my little boy’s favorite things to do before bed is to play the “shadow game.” Usually, I am the one tasked with holding the flashlight as he and my husband chase each other and their shadows. It’s great fun to see them pretend to grab each other’s shadows and then return them jovially while “zipping” them back on to each other. (Always a nod to Peter Pan with our boy.)
Our son’s very favorite part of the game, though, is when I shine the light on him at an angle to make him grow from proper sized shadow of the little boy that he is, to one that is filling the room like a giant.
On a recent night, I saw our child grab hold of his daddy’s hand and they both became the growing shadows that filled the room together. There was no mistake about it. The two shadows that we could see most clearly engulfing that space were that of a child and his father.
When we journey through the dimly lit territories of life, it can become a little easier to see the shadow of God, as well. The shape of the Father takes on a different sort of recognition in life’s shadowy passages than it is in utter darkness or even the brightest light.
Trust becomes deeper fostered for any future darkness and with more appreciation for future light when you know whose hand was holding your hand all along. When you see the outline of the presence of God, guiding you with His hand of loving leadership and companionship through the most uncertain of times, you begin to understand a little more about trusting Him for all the steps you are to take out of the darkness and into the light.
What about you? In your seasons of uncertainty, have your eyes fixed on the shadows lurking in the corner with all the questions or have they rested on the shadow of your Heavenly Father with His hand intertwined in yours?
When you look at the shadows of uncertainty, you’ll walk in uncertainty. When you look at the shadow of the Almighty, you’ll walk with God, right to where He wants to lead you.
Your season may be hard. You may, in fact, be surrounded by uncertainties and unexpected developments in the picture of your life. But the shadow of hope is there in all of those passages because the reality of hope is there.
Hope has a name. Hope walks with you in it all…the darkness, the shadows, and the light.
Hope is Emmanuel…God with you.
Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings, Luke 17:8