February 2

“In the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft: in his quiver hath he hid me.” Isaiah 49:2

“In the shadow.” We must all go there sometimes. The glare of the daylight is too brilliant; our eyes become injured, and unable to discern the delicate shades of colour, or appreciate neutral tints – the shadowed chamber of sickness, the shadowed house of mourning, the shadowed life from which the sunlight has gone. But fear not! It is the shadow of God’s hand. He is leading thee. There are lessons that can be learned only there. The photograph of His face can only be fixed in the dark chamber. But do not suppose that He has cast thee aside. Thou art still in His quiver; He has not flung thee away as a worthless thing. He is only keeping thee close till the moment comes when He can send thee most swiftly and surely on some errand in which He will be glorified. Oh, shadowed, solitary ones, remember how closely the quiver is bound to the warrior, within easy reach of the hand, and guarded jealously. (Streams in the Desert)

Shadows do not prevent fullness. We are instructed to be filled with God’s Spirit because a Christ-honoring life may only be expressed from the overflow. If God’s mercy is not spilling over to touch others through us, we have become stale and as useful as moldy bread. The tragedy is not merely that we become unappetizing—we may be toxic. The world has seen and felt for too long the damaging effect of toxic churches and stale “followers” of Christ. It is insanity to expect unchanged persons to illicit resurrection in their communities and culture. Reject popular opinion, enter the tomb, and emerge transformed by the glory and power of God. Embrace daily radical filling and advance from the overflow.

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