I confess that I thought and thought about what this meant from a Biblical perspective. I wondered how it – casting shadows – came forth and whose stories might have shown evidence related to it thereof. You know who came to mind when I considered it? First, Peter. Second, Paul. Finally, Jesus.
You know what I began to realize as I walked through and considered each of these instances? I understood anew that times of darkness would likely come but that God prevails. His light will always shine through, especially in the lives of those who are willing to surrender.
Casting Shadows: To spoil a good situation with something bad (feelings of gloom or unhappiness may be associated with)
– Peter’s Denial and Resultant Agony -> Peter denied Christ three times, and once he realized what he had done, he went off, likely plagued with guilt and shame.
Was his “good story” spoiled by something bad? Was a shadow cast over his life for a moment? Were feelings of gloom or unhappiness a part of his tale?
– Paul and Barnabas and the Parting of Ways -> Paul and Barnabas were friends and fellow saints who did the work of the LORD, but after a dispute over John Mark, they parted ways for a time.
Was their “good story” spoiled by something bad? Was a shadow cast over their lives for a time? Were feelings of gloom or unhappiness a part of their tale?
– Jesus in Gethsemane, Alone -> Jesus prayed in the garden. A solitary figure in the most intimate of moments with His Father poured out His heart – His thoughts, His feelings, His concerns, His requests, His everything. He exhibited a depth of feeling that can never be fully grasped. And yet, after all was said and done, He accepted the cup that He was given.
Was His “good story” spoiled by something bad? Was sin’s shadow looming over Him for an instant? Were feelings of gloom or unhappiness a part of His tale?
Each one of these stories called out to me today. They reminded me that even in the midst of this great and wonderful epic story of salvation that is my life in Christ, there will be times when shadows may be cast. There will be times when sin’s darkness may seem to overshadow or dim God’s divine illumination, but it will not last. It did not last for Peter. It did not last for Paul and Barnabas. And it certainly did not last for Jesus.
But let’s not forget or lose sight of a particularly phenomenal point. Each one of the situations I mentioned shows us that these men came to a place of surrender and acceptance. I could go on and on about that, but for now I’ll simply say that each person faced himself, faced God and grasped his cup. In the end, God’s glory was magnified and then some. Sin’s darkness was eradicated. Jesus was illuminated. Lives were changed!
Can the same thing happen for us in our stories? Can we move past guilt and shame and into God’s marvelous light? Can we move past disagreements and disputes into God’s divine illumination? Can we face the darkest of moments and bravely accept the beautiful cup of suffering of salvation and step into the LORD’s holy grace?
You tell me.