In the Shadow
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
My friend’s suffering was intense. Her cancer was very aggressive and fast-growing. Within three months she moved seeming health to heaven. Her suffering and death clarified the spiritual meanings of light and shadow my mind.
Looking out over the peaks and valley from my mountain home, I saw a parallel between my friend’s suffering and the rising of the sun in the morning sky. As light peeks over the ridge to the east, it first illumines the tops of the mountain peaks to the west. The shadows in the valley below recede slowly as the sun rises higher in the sky.
The light draws my eyes to the peaks above when the valley still rests in shadow. In the same way, suffering should draw my heart upward, making me long for Gods’ light. His word enables me to know with certainty that I will not remain in the darkness.
The interplay of light and shadow in life often reveal strengths and weaknesses we did not know we had. Before cancer confined my friend to bed, she talked about Christ to neighbors, co-workers, and friends. Her cancer opened doors which had once been closed. As she said, no one has the courage to say no to a dying woman. Suffering enables us to relate to people undergoing many kinds of trials. Basic concepts are transferrable to many different situations.
As a quiet hush fills the valley before the sun permeates it with light, suffering, once embraced, has the potential to develop patience to wait when the certainty of heaven exists. Seeking God in times of pain can give the assurance that He will, in time, reveal Himself and grant release from the trials and pain of this world.
When circumstances draw me into the shadow, I must choose to look to His light to avoid being overcome by darkness. Looking to the One who bore all my sin and shame, enables God to give me His comfort and fill me with His light. Then, like my friend, I have comfort to share with others, that they might also find His peace.
© Copyright 2013 by Norma Gail Thurston Holtman and http://normagail-2mefromhim.blogspot.com. All Rights Reserved.