There are shadows all around us.
That’s true in a literal sense. According to my Google search, shadows are made by blocking light. Light rays travel from a source in straight lines. If a solid object gets in the way, it stops light rays from traveling through it. This results in an area of darkness appearing behind the object.
Shadows, then, are an indication of something solid – that there is something of substance in between the shadow and the sun. By looking at a shadow, you can make some rough calculations about the nature of that object. You can tell some aspects of general size, shape, and even nature. But in the end, it’s really just, well, a shadow.
And there are shadows all around it. It’s also true in a spiritual sense.
All around us we find echoes of the eternal. Take, for example, something like a rock. A rock is hard. It’s sturdy. It’s solid and lasting. Then consider a passage like this:
The Lord is my rock,
my fortress, and my deliverer,
my God, my rock where I seek refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation,
my stronghold (Ps. 18:2).
You might say that the psalmist wrote this while holding a rock and was reflecting on how God was like that rock. Of course, you might also say the opposite – that the Lord created the rock specifically for the purpose of giving us an example of something that is lasting and sturdy. So that we might have a shadow of what is truly real.
In other words, the Lord is like a rock except even more sturdy. Even more lasting. And that brings us to three words, when you consider the examples of all the spiritual shadows around us, that remind us of the goodness of God:
How. Much. More.
“Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Who among you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him” (Matt. 7:7-11).
- A father gives good gifts. How much more so with God the Father?
- A shepherd cares for the sheep in his flock. How much more so with the Good Shepherd?
- We care for and love our friends. How much more so with the One who is closer than a brother?
- We intercede for one another. How much more so with He who lives to intercede for us?
How much more?
Now there is a question, in the midst of all the questions of the day, to lift the soul of the Christian. Ask yourself today, then, when you encounter a shadow. A shadow of joy, a shadow of comfort, a shadow of friendship, a shadow of grace. Bask in the shadows that give relief from the heat of the world, but in the midst of that shadow, do not neglect the question to lift your eyes:
How much more?