Shifting Shadows

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:16-17)

I saw a video clip recently of a young boy who was afraid of his shadow. He was about 4 years old and suddenly became afraid of the sight of his shadow. As he tried to get away from it he became even more distraught as it continued to follow him. No matter what he did he couldn't escape his tormentor. It is funny to watch because we understand the silliness of his phobia. As I read this passage from James I was reminded of this young boy.

This first chapter of the book of James lays out for us God's prescription for us to successfully deal with trials in life. It all boils down to perspective. How we perceive trials will have a tremendous impact on persevering in the midst of trials. As we face trials in life we have a tendency to focus all of our attention on the wrong thing. We tend to focus on the trial itself rather than God. Like that little boy in the video clip, we find ourselves running away from shadows. Satan wants us to keep that trial right in front of us so that is all we can see because it blocks our view of God. All we can see now is this shadow that seems to follow our every step. What we need to do is to get into position so that we put ourselves in front of God so that we can see Him and not the problem. The shadow that is cast is of Him. This reminds us of the truth that God is with us and He is much bigger than that problem. That little boy will soon learn that shadows are not reality. They are proof that we are standing in the light. It's the absence of shadows that should scare us because that would mean we have stepped away from the light, in this case, the light is God. Shadows change and shift as the object in front of the light moves or changes. James reminds us that God is light and He never changes like shadows. He remains constant.

The bottom line here is when you face trials it is important to keep your attention focused on the right place. Look at Him, not your problem. This will give you hope and faith, even in the midst of the most difficult circumstances. It reminds me of that old song, Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus that says, "Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace."

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