Sunshine and Shadows

I saw a facebook post the other day. It said, “Come back Mr. Sun!!! We miss you ...” There are a lot of people missing the brightness and warmth of Mr. Sun these days. It has been too overcast, especially when you consider that many in the farming community have yet to complete their harvest.

John Denver may have had it right when he wrote “Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy ...” Studies show that sunlight increases serotonin levels and spurs the creation of vitamin D, both of which could help in putting you in a happier mood.

There is something else, however, about overcast days that I’d like to point out. The shadows are practically gone. You just don’t see them.

When I was a youngster shadows were fun. You could dance with your shadow (and not be embarrassed because your shadow was as poor a dancer as you). I discovered that you could make animals on the wall with the shadows from your hands. I created cats, dogs, and ferocious dinosaurs.

Do you remember, as a kid, looking out the car window and pretending that you were racing the shadow that would move closer and farther, depending on the distance to the other side of the ditch? Do you remember trying to step on someone else’s shadow as you were walking together on a sidewalk?

David wrote “How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings” (Psalm 36:7). The idea David was trying to convey here was that being close to God was a good thing. Under His shadow meant that He was there to protect you, to make sure no harm came to you. Being in God’s shadow is a safe place to be.

Here’s another thought. Being in the shadow of someone else generally means that the other person is always seen first in everything. They are recognized first and foremost. For the follower of Jesus this is actually a good thing is it not?

Peter and John were dragged before the Jewish council for a bit of an interrogation. Those doing the questioning didn’t see Peter and John as much as they saw “that they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13). They were in His shadow. He was recognized first and foremost.

As we move through the fall season let’s hope, pray, for sunshine. And when you see a shadow ask yourself if you are in God’s shadow. Are you close? Are you giving Him first place? Are you trusting in Him? There is no safer place to be!