By Marie Wells Coutu

A favorite game for many children is to step on someone else's shadow. They like to sneak up, step on the shadow, and run away.

When we know that someone has influenced the lives of many people, we might say she cast a long shadow. Like a child, we may want to touch the shadow of that person, as if something about her would rub off on us.

The thing about shadows, though, is that they are not real. There is no substance that we can feel. A shadow is only an image or representation caused by another object that partially blocks the light.

Shadows always seem bigger than life. Yet without a source of light, no shadow can exist.

Someone pointed out recently that the beloved 23rd Psalm talks about walking through, not the "valley of death," but "the valley of the shadow of death." The distinction, I think, is significant.

Your shadow of death may involve grief over losing a loved one, failure in your marriage or job, or even facing your own mortality. The valley is painful emotionally, but the Bible promises that it is not permanent. Whatever blocks the light will move on and the shadow will pass, eventually.

Sometimes a shadow actually provides protection. On a scorching summer day, we look for the shade where we can be protected from the sun's rays.

God says, "I have... covered you with the shadow of my hand” (Isaiah 51:16, NIV). Even the shadow of His hand is enough to protect us from evil, fear, or worry if we seek the shelter He offers.

As Christians, we seek to walk in God’s Light. When we are afraid or upset, we can find comfort and rest in the shadow of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Allow His shadow to pass over you today and receive His healing comfort.

 

Rest

10/14/2011

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by Susan Tuttle
As women, we are busy little bees, aren't we? We try and fix problems--even ones that aren't ours. We worry over what's over the next horizon. Maybe we try and pile our good deeds high enough that we can't see our past through them. Yet, none of this is what God envisioned for us.

In repentance and rest is your salvation. In quietness and trust is your strength. Isaiah 30:15

This verse has been swirling through my mind a lot lately. 

First of all, God doesn't want us to work for our salvation. When we mess up, all He asks is that we repent. Then rest in His promise that it's forgotten, covered by His blood. There's nothing more we need to do. Just rest in Him.

Then there are times where we fall into the craziness of life. We work at a problem that's staring us down. Or someone around us is hurt and we want to help. Maybe we're trying to get to where God wants us to be, but don't want to wait on Him, so we scurry around trying to find the next step. All the while God is simply asking us to sit quietly and trust Him. Trust that He has it all under control. 

See, sometimes the best action is inaction. To hand all the balls we are juggling over to Him and trust that He won't drop them. Then sit back, stop our action, slow our minds, close our mouths and just quietly be in His presence. All too often, God is in the quiet and we cover Him with our noise.

Today, whatever you're struggling with, set it aside and rest in Him. Find the quiet today. He's there.


Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

 
 
by Susan Tuttle
Did you know that when you come to God you’re not perfect? Even after He saves us by grace? But aren’t we great at living in guilt when we make the same mistakes over and over.

I want to go back today to one of the verses I used last time. I want to get this in your head. 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come, the old is gone, the new is here!”.  You are no longer who you were, you are brand-spanking-new in His eyes. So don't let the old you guilt you--yes, you’re still going to mess up--but now those messes belong to God and it's amazing what He can do with them!

See, sometimes when we come to God, He immediately delivers us from a habitual sin. But other times, He allows us to keep it, and work at changing that habit. I believe He has two reasons for this. One is to keep us connected to Him. The only way we can change our damaging habits is to rely daily on Him, and in doing so, our relationship with Him grows. 

The second reason is for His grace to shine through us. Paul had a great passage on this in 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 as he talks about the “thorn” in his flesh. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
 
You belong to God, but you are still wrapped in flesh. You will make mistakes…maybe even more than one each day (I know, believe me). But when you do, allow yourself to feel God’s grace, to accept it. Don’t beat yourself up those times you stumble and perhaps fall.  Before, when you’d fall, you alone had to pick yourself up. Now, God reaches down His hand and grabs you with His strength. You’ll never be perfect here on this earth, but when you allow Him to shine through your mistakes, you become a perfect picture of His grace at work. And that’s a beautiful thing.