Today the unbroken snow field sparkles with brilliant sunlight. It looks like the angels were making Christmas cards and accidently spilled the white glitter. Along the tree line, the sun casts long steel-blue shadows across the white field. I sit for a while, sipping my hot chocolate and admiring the view from our patio doors. As the sun climbs higher, the shadows slink slowly and quietly away. I can’t sit here all day, but I know they will only venture out again when the sun begins to sink.
The changing shadows have a certain beauty. Though they are fleeting, they add depth and character to the monochromatic landscape. Usually, my life ticks along uneventfully, my hours filled with the mundane duties of daily living. We aren’t world travelers. Our children aren’t prodigies. We have done nothing to merit notoriety. In short, we’re sort of monochromatic (some might even say “boring”).
But fleeting circumstances do, from time to time, cast shadows over our lives. This year has had its share of shadows. Some of those shadows were intriguing; for instance, trying to unfold the mysteries in my family tree. A few were a little scary, like sending our daughter off to high school after years of home-schooling. Others were beautiful… making some new friends and being reunited with some old ones. And a handful were dark and ominous; like discovering the enemy is not always Satan or the world, but sometimes the church or a brother in Christ.
God has used all these shifting shadows, good and bad, to add depth and character to my soul. There were days the shadows nearly overwhelmed me. Things looked bleak and distorted, like a moonlit cemetery in an old black and white horror flick. One truth kept me grounded. The shadows would change, but God would not.
James 1:17 says, “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. God is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:6). As the shifting shadows come and go, God remains constant. I know He is good, even when my circumstances seem not to be.
I know He is with me, even when I do not sense His nearness. I know He is faithful, even when I am unfaithful. I know He will never fail me, even when people do. I know He is always truthful, even when the world is full of lies. I know He is gracious, even when I fail. I know He is just, even when life seems unfair. I know He is eternal, when all else is passing swiftly by. I know He is all-sufficient, when the stuff of life fails to satisfy.
“Great is Thy faithfulness, O God, my Father. There is no shadow of turning with Thee. All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided. Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.”