The Shadow proves the Sunshine

A few years ago when Switchfoot sang a song called, “The Shadow Proves the Sunshine”, it instantly became a favorite of mine because, at the time, my life seemed filled with shadows of every sort. And, I was pretty desperate for any glimpse or hint of sunshine.

There were issues with my children, my parents, my marriage, my extended family, our finances and eventually with my faith. I know now that any seasoned, mature believer looking at my life – from the outside – would have recognized very clearly the hand of God at work. They would have seen the furnace being turned up 7 times hotter. They would have witnessed the shaking of everything that could be shaken – including, and especially, my faith in Jesus. And they’d have understood that what I was experiencing was no different than what all sold-out believers eventually experience – intense time on the potter’s wheel.

At the time, I simply could not comprehend a God who could love me and allow such brokenness. How could He claim to love me, then not “fix” things when I called out to Him? How could His word describe Him as possessing ‘everlasting’ love when I couldn’t find any evidence that He was even listening? It didn’t fit any description of love I knew.

Thankfully, there is hope for even the most immature among us! God’s patience knows no end. When He looks at us, He doesn’t see our self-created mess, He sees what He planned for us to be – before He even created us. He sees the gifts and callings that were placed in us long ago. And, He sees Jesus. Trouble is, all of that is hidden most of the time under layers of “life”. So, in His infinite wisdom, and deep abiding love for us, He places us on the potter’s wheel. He puts His hands on our lives and does what only He can do. Like a good parent, He ignores our selfish pleas and our begging for things that are not good for us. The wheel is not comfortable and at times – unbearable – but only He knows what the end result should look like.

Eventually, He removes His hands and we are left to choose. We can remain on the wheel and trust what we don’t understand, or jump off because it’s too difficult and we just don’t trust that the Potter knows what He’s really doing.

I’d never purposely choose to endure the potter’s wheel – the heartache, confusion or loss in life. But it seems that these are some of the tools that God uses to change our perspective from earthly to heavenly, from temporal to eternal, from ‘my way to His ways.The Potter’s wheel changes how we “see” life.

What was once dreary cold winter’ becomes a reminder of how much I love spring.
What was once sickness makes me so thankful for health.
What was once bondage is a reminder of the value of freedom.
Darkness sends me in search of light.
Arrows from the enemy send me running to my Father.
Weakness reminds me of His strength.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7-8)

Today, I don’t mind the shadows so much. They help me locate the . . . . s u n s h i n e.

Also posted at CWO’s Internet Cafe’

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7 Responses to “The Shadow proves the Sunshine”

  1. Cheryl Wright Says:

    Thank you for writing this post and baring your soul Darnelle. It stirred some painful memories. But it also enlivened the truth of God’s providential dealings in my life.

    Even as the memory of that long-gone trial bubbled up inside, I felt blest all over again when I recalled my deliverance at the hand of a merciful and loving God, my heavenly Father.

  2. Connie Arnold Says:

    This is so beautiful! I’m glad I ran across it when I was searching for Abiding Hope and Love, which is the title of my new book of inspirational poetry. You say some of the same things I have in some of my poems. Thank you for a little sunshine in my day!
    Connie
    http://www.freewebs.com/conniearnold

  3. Angie Says:

    I come back to this again..it is as potent as it was when I read it on CWO Cafe. Your words penetrate…as they should and give me much cause to pause and reflect on my own life and what God is speaking to me and wanting to see change in me to reflect Him. He is the Light I run to.
    Girl, you bless me. If by chance you are going to the “SheSpeaks” Conference…I would love to meet and hug you!

  4. Becoming Me Says:

    Sweet sweet post with so much grace and truth. Thank you.

  5. Kysha Says:

    Beautiful post, Darnelle. We have to decrease so that He can increase.

  6. Amy B Says:

    Your words are very encouraging. We have had a bit of intesity here too lately, and I need to be reminded. Thank you.

  7. Julie, Says:

    Darnelle,
    Beautiful words. I loved reading what you have written and seeing that you are discovering what I am discovering about God. God shaking all that can be shakened has become a favorite verse of mine. After all He’s truly been shaking.

    Thank you for visiting my blog and your wonderful words to me. I am very encouraged. This is the first time someone has asked me to write an article for them. I am pretty much blown away. My friends have been telling me for some time that I should write….I can’t hardly put my mind around someone wanting to read what I have written. It is so amazing to me.

    One of the things that your post made me think of is another one of my favorite verses in Nahum 1:8 “The clouds are but the dust of His feet.” When I look up in the sky and see clouds everywhere, so much so that the sky looks overcast I am comforted in seeing His feet everywhere my eye can see.

    I have found great joy in looking at the clouds after finding that verse.

    It’s amazing how He comes for us!

    Thanks again for stopping by!

    I guess you saw that I too am a mother of 5!

    Many blessings,
    Julie

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