Several years ago a good friend wrote in her Christmas letter that someone had commented on the timing of her son’s cancer diagnosis. She expressed a sadness that their family had to be under such a shadow at that joyous time of year. My friend answered that they were thankful for the shadow because it felt like the shadow of God’s wing. Near to God’s heart is where she felt the safest.
How priceless is your unfailing love!
Both high and low among people
find refuge in the shadow of your wings.
Shadows are often viewed as negative things. They seem dark and to not be trusted. But I loved the shadows while riding along the bike trail yesterday. They offered a break from the sun, allowing a coolness to breeze across my sweaty forehead.
Sometimes circumstances pull us out of the light and into darkness where we feel confused and unsafe. Many difficult situations this past week have drawn our church and our Christian community into a sadness that has pushed us to feel unsure and in need of relief. Many are longing for the brightness of truth and an assurance of God’s nearness. In this context perhaps we should look up and view that darkness as the shadow of God himself hovering near us, protecting and holding us close while the pain is fresh.
Comfort hides within this shadow. Faith is tested. Beliefs are grounded. Questions are asked and truths are established. Here we are invited to dig deep and wrestle hard. But we are not on our own in this school of deeper understanding. God is with us. He is near and we are free to explore the depths of our need for answers and for him.
Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. (Ps. 36:5)
In your light we see light (36:9b)