Dancing in the Shadows with the Father of Lights

woman in the shadow looking at light

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1

Shadows danced across the parking lot as I sat in my car, processing the doctor’s words. White knuckled, I held the steering wheel, unable to move. 

I now had the answer to the question I had been relentless in asking at every doctor’s appointment – “When will this ever end?”. I had hoped for a firm diagnosis at this visit and even a cure. I ached to return to the way things were before my illness, like a shadow, crept into my life. It brought with it chronic pain, neurologic chaos, and reduced mobility. No way could I go on like this another day, let alone the rest of my life.

“When will this ever end?” is a logical question when what was once reliable – like the ability to stand and walk – becomes uncertain. But how was I supposed to go on with this shadow destined to be my daily companion? The “just hang on until it’s over” method of survival wasn’t going to cut it. Besides, relying on this crisis to end in order to experience rest and restoration was plain exhausting. I needed a more dependable mooring for my heart than my go-to, which was figuring it out and fixing it.

Pastor Paul Tripp had it right when he said, “Rest will never come by trying to figure it all out. It only comes by trusting the one who has it all figured out for you.” 

The Psalmist says it this way in Psalm 46:1-3, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam though the mountains tremble at its swelling.” 

The word refuge in this verse means a place of trust. I had been placing my faith in the shifting shadow of my health, leaving my exhausted soul to fend for itself. I couldn’t run and hide from my shadow companion, but I could shift my trust from figuring and fixing to the only true refuge. 

With my pesky shadow companion always begging for attention, I had lost sight of the fact that God is present in my pain, and I can trust Him with it. What my soul needed most was an unobstructed awareness of God’s presence.

The sun’s bright rays pressed back the shadows for a moment. I took a deep breath, relaxing my grip on the wheel. No shadow of circumstance has the final say in the story You are writing in my life. My body may not move the way it used to, but Father of lights, I put my trust in you. 

Are you dancing with shadows, struggling to find hope? You are not alone, and a season of no more shadows is on the horizon. For now, we take refuge in a good and trustworthy God. He is with us each step of the way.

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