Then Jonah went out to the east side of the city and made a shelter to sit under as he waited to see what would happen to the city. Jonah 4:5 NLT
They lay across the road like massive hands waiting for someone to trace.
As autumn approached, my evening walks welcomed more and more shadows. I invited them too. Even though the season should have been witnessing cooler temperatures, it wasn’t. Hot weather had settled in. The intermittent shadows cooled my body as I strolled through their presence.
I didn’t have to wonder what the shadow represented. I knew something nearby and something larger cast the shadows. Oak, maple, and crepe myrtle trees. I rejoiced that I wasn’t walking in an area where landscapers and homeowners had decided to strip the area bare of shade-producing trees.
But I also knew the shadows were just that. They weren’t the real thing. I could walk through and across them without harm. Walking into what they represented would have brought injury.
Jonah knew a little about shadows. He sat in shade God had provided waiting for God to send judgment on people he hated: the Ninevites. But judgment didn’t come. Grace did. And it made Jonah furious. Isn’t this why he ran from God’s command to preach judgment to the Ninevites? He knew a little about God’s grace. Now, from the shade of God’s grace, He witnessed it firsthand.
Walking through shadows without turning my head only allows me to see the shadow itself. I’ll never see what it represents. Becoming a child of God and living for Him puts me in the shadows. I walk through the shadow of faith that God exists and that He created me. I have no proof of either, but I keep walking through the faith shadow. The alternative doesn’t entice me.
I walk through the shadows of God’s promises, which fill the Bible. I believe them . . . stake my life on them. Other than God’s word, I have no assurance they’ll come true. I trust the shadow. So far, God hasn’t disappointed me. And I have faith He never will.
I’ve even chosen to bet my eternity on shadows. God says there’s a heaven, and I believe Him. A place more beautiful than my mind can comprehend. A place where no evil exists. I walk through its shadow now, but I believe one day I’ll bump into the real thing.
Try some shadow walking. Doing so requires great faith, but God won’t let you down.
Tweetable: Are you seeing only shadows?
Prayer: Father, as we walk through the shadows of this life, mold our faith so we are convinced the shadows represent real entities.