“He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night…” Psalm 91:4-5a
One night from a deep sleep, I was awoken by bright light. Standing at the doorway of my bedroom was my two-year-old son with his hand on the light switch. I told him to turn off the light and crawl in bed with me. He snuggled up close and whispered in my ear, “I scared of da shadows.”
I asked him the question I always ask my kids when they are scared: “What do the angels always say?” And without hesitation he said, “Don’t be afraid.”
I tried to explain as best I could to a two-year-old that shadows are created when something comes between an object and light. As the object moves in relation to the light it makes bigger or smaller shadows. I tried demonstrating by waving my hand in front of the lamp.
It got me to thinking…
God is light. If I allow something come between me and God, there will be shadows. Worse…If I turn my back on God there will be shadows. Then I thought, “I scared of da shadows too!”
What are the shadows in my life? What are the source of the shadows? Is it circumstance? Or is it because I have not trusted in God and turned my back on Him?
I think of King David. He sure knew a lot about shadows. He is the same boy who stood firm in the shadow of a giant. He is the same man who fell to his knees in his own shadow after he turned his back on God in the sin of adultery. That heartfelt cry of humble confession has resonated with each one of us in times of darkness. (Psalm 51)
How is it that this King could endure these times of despair when the images of threat loomed over him? He had relationship. In the dark of night while watching over his own flock, he realized that the Shepherd was ever with him. He sang out unto the LORD, ” Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” (Psalms 23:4)
The closer the object is to the light, the bigger the shadow appears, but just maybe it is all in God’s will and protection.
Sometimes shadows occur in our lives because of God’s protection. He is hiding us in the cleft of the rock. (Exodus 33). “God is passing by. God is in the tremors. Dark is the holiest ground, the glory passing by. In the blackest, God is the closest at work, forging His perfect and right will.”(*Ann Voskamp)
Again, back to King David…it is the relationship that brings comfort. That is what my son was searching for when he sought me out in the middle of the night. He knew that once he found me everything would be ok.
So in the pitch of night when I hold my son tight, reflecting in prayer about the simple fears of a child the Father gently reminds me: “Don’t be afraid.” And my response is in harmony with King David once again, “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.” (Psalm 17:8)
I am comforted…
**The featured image was provided by Cavalier Photography.
Because my audience has changed since my time over at Mosaic of Moms, I decided to repost some of my favorite devotional pieces I wrote for that project. This article was originally published on May 6, 2013.