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17 July - Out Of The Shadows

Shadows are those dark areas or shapes that we tend to be afraid or wary of as a child or even as an adult in a dark alleyway or car park.

Inherently, most people avoid the shadows because they are usually likened to ominous oppressiveness, sadness, and gloom. Perhaps the only time we want to be in the shadows is if we are trying to keep something hidden or secret, and we choose to keep to the shadows and out of the light.

Unfortunately, in life, some circumstances do cast a shadow over our lives. Some we walk into through our own choices, and some are cast upon us. However, as I read Psalm 23 in the bible today, I realised that a shadow does not have to be permanent. It is a shadow that will pass, and/or I can walk through and past it.

This is especially true in light of how powerful God is and that a little shadow is no match for His light and goodness because no shadow has the power to remain when God is walking alongside us.

David wrote Psalm 23 and drew on his experiences as a young man shepherding His father’s sheep alone in the countryside. He describes that even “when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death,” we do not need to be afraid for God, our good Shepherd is beside us to protect and comfort us. (Psalm 23:4)

The things we might fear, such as death, sickness, lack, loss, and pain, are no doubt real; they are shadows that try to come between the light of God’s goodness and us.

But even though they may seem dark and ominous, they are still only shadows, which God promises He will lead us through. Those shadows will fade away because Jesus has already taken the pain and weight of sin, death, and pain, and all that remains are their shadows which soon lose their power to permanently hamper or harm us when we choose to keep our eyes firmly on Jesus and walk with Him and in His ways.

Today if you feel like you are walking through the valley of the shadow of death, or you know you have been hiding out in the shadows on purpose, know that they are only shadows, and you can make a decision to step through or out of them when you keep your eyes fixed on Jesus and journey with Him.

Whenever you sense or see a shadow, don’t be afraid; keep walking, for He is with you and will bring you out of the shadows and into the light of His love and goodness again.

“Even though I walk through the [sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort and console me” (Psalm 23:4 Amp)

“For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)

Prayer: Lord, thank you that you are with me even in the darkest valley and the deepest shadows. Please help me remember that I don’t need to be afraid and keep my eyes fixed firmly on you, for your promise that you are close beside me to protect and comfort me wherever and whatever I am going through today. In Jesus name Amen

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