DayBreaks for 01/04/2019: The Passing of the Shadow
From the DayBreaks Archive, 01/05/09 (modified):
Whew. The holidays are now over. It is a bittersweet feeling, isn’t it? On the one hand, I love the excitement and joy of the holidays, and the chance to share that with family, loved ones and friends. I love the Christmas carols and was surprised to find some of them playing in the malls this year. I love the bright lights and colors, and yes, the nuts and chews of Christmas from See’s Candies!
But it isn’t long and the holidays that have been so long awaited are over and done with. The family has returned to their own homes and gone back to work, the Christmas decorations have been pulled down and boxed away for another year, the candy is gone (thank goodness!) and the Christmas carols and tree have been tucked away for 11 months. And – I’m tired.
As I was reflecting on this one day, I was watching our old dog, Rainie. She’s 12 years old now and she’s clearly winding down. She walks with a strange, stiff gait because of some arthritis in her hips, and if you look into her eyes, they are not dark and clear – they are milky and a bit subdued. She is afraid, or in a bit too much discomfort, to hop up on the bed as easily as she used to. Now, at night, when she comes back into the house, she will whimper and whine before even attempting her leap of faith up to the top of the mattress. And she huffs and puffs a lot more than when she was younger. It saddens me to see this happening before my very eyes and to be powerless in the face of the inexorable march of time. And then I realize, I am on the same march, head down as I trudge the pathway before me.
The passing of the holidays and the winding down of life have parallels that can teach us. We start out exuberant, full of excitement and energy. We hurry here and there because the world is so big and there is so much to see and do and we don’t want to miss a moment of it. But then, as with Christmas, the holiday is over before you are even fully aware that it has begun. Old friends and family are no longer around. We find ourselves more fearful of running around too far from home, and we also whimper and whine as we rise or recline on our bed. Not to mention the eyesight.
This is the way of all flesh. This is what makes our God and His promises so precious – He does not grow old, tired, and weary. He doesn’t get cataracts. His bones don’t ache and generate the whimpers that accompany old age. And He promises us that the day will come when we will be like Him in that regard. We try to imagine a life without any sort of pains or sadness and we cannot grasp even the tiniest crumb of that reality. But we do long for it. The life we so longed to live when we were younger has been spent somehow, somewhere – like a shadow passing in the night, soundlessly and quickly, not even leaving footprints behind. Hold on to the fact that the shadow is passing, but it isn’t passing from daylight to darkness, but instead the shadow is passing to daylight, from earth to heaven, from mortality to immortality, from death to life. And there shall be no more weeping.
PRAYER: Lord, life often feels like both a blessing and a burden. Thank you for the promise that you will make our joys even greater than anything we have experienced in this lifetime, and that you will remove our sorrows eternally. Thank you, that Jesus “is the life!” In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>