DayBreaks for 9/27/17: The Shadow and the Sun
From the DayBreaks archive, 9/2007:
I sit here in the office that is our kitchen, I look out through a window over the world famous Alexander Valley. World famous, you say? Yes, any oenophile knows about it. (In case you’re not familiar with the term, “oenophile” means “wine lover”.) It is here in the rich soil of Sonoma County, that some of the world’s finest wines are grown. Much of the wine that comes from grapes here, I’m told, is never sold in the United States, but is exported to other countries – like France and Italy.
We live on a hillside overlooking part of the valley. Today is one of those kind of days that I love: the sky is mostly blue, but there are puffy marshmallow clouds drifting in from the sea, taking a somewhat southerly bent as they cross the valley. I look out and can watch their shadows move languidly across the green vineyards and through the forests. It is a beautiful sight to see and it brings a calmness to my soul, which is often times troubled.
Where we live there are people who love the heat of the summer. I’m not one of them. Fall is my favorite time – the air cools down and imparts an energy to my body that makes me want to shout for the joy of being alive! In the summer, we have virtually no clouds. It doesn’t rain here in the summertime. At best, we may get a morning fog blanket from the Pacific coast that is just a few miles over that-a-way as the crow flies. But then the fog burns off and the heat of the sun’s rays make the grapes grow and get fat and rich with juice.
I prefer cloudy days. Not totally cloudy, but the drifty-dreamy days of fall before the heavy rains come to quench the thirst of the parched earth.
The shadows – the darkness. Both are metaphors used in Scripture to describe difficulties, evil, sin, times that are not good and that bode ill for the future. On the other hand, the sun and light are used as symbols of good and of life. Life is filled with a mix of shadows and sun, good and hard, peacefulness and turmoil. It seems as if some live in places in their souls where there is only shadow, or at the most, very little sunshine. And it can lead to despair and depression when all you can see is the shadows.
I like what Jonathan Foreman said: “The shadow proves the sunshine.” If there is a shadow, there must be a source of light. Otherwise, there can be no shadow.
In the middle of our lives, on the days when the shadows are deep and long, remember this: if you can see the shadow, there is a Light!
John 8:12 (NIV) When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
PRAYER: Father, when life’s shadows are long and our hearts are filled with despairing darkness, help us to remember that You cannot be far away or there would be no shadow! Help us to persevere through the clouds of this day until we see the morning Light! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.