Shadow is defined by Webster as “the dark figure cast upon a surface by a body intercepting the rays from a source of light”. Stop just for a moment and consider this definition in your life. What is it in your life that is casting a shadow, what is intercepting the rays from the Light? I propose 3 things that can intercept the light that longs to shine into our hearts and lives.
- Sin – The Bible uses the term sin to describe the missing of a mark, an offense, to forfeit something. These are actions in our lives that do not align with the perfect will of God. Let me be clear everyone sins, no one is perfect, to stumble in one area of disobedience is to stumble in all areas of disobedience.
- Fear – Fear has the power to be debilitating, to cause one to stop forward movement, and to withdraw from that which causes the fear.
- Evil – Our world is filled with evil. We love to ignore or act like evil does not exist, but it is the only way to describe the atrocities enacted upon others.
I want us to realize that the Psalmist provides 3 solutions to these problems. They work together to remove each of these three areas.
- His Presence – There is nothing as powerful as the presence of Jesus. His Presence with us is the mission of the Cross, it is the essence of the name Emmanuel.
- His Rod – The rod speaks of the stick the shepherd carried for punishing, ruling, writing, and fighting. In other words, not only does the Good Shepherd discipline us, but He fights for us and writes His Word upon our hearts. His Rod is a symbol of His Lordship over our life and His fierce protection of that which belongs to Him.
- His Staff – The shepherd’s staff was a walking stick and symbolic of His role as protector and provider. It is no wonder that Jesus tells us to not be anxious and to not fear or be dismayed, but instead to place our trust and hope in Him. To cast all our cares upon Him. To take His yoke upon us.
We can make the choice to continue on with a shadow hanging over our lives or we can come into His light. God instructs Moses to have Aaron pronounce a blessing upon the people in Numbers 6:24-26 “The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.”‘ The blessing is a continual reminder of God’s Light longing to shine upon us.