I went for a walk alone the other night, and sat down to watch the sun set over the hills. As I watched the colours changing in the sky, and the and shadows on the hills grow, a verse came to mind: “He does not change like shifting shadows.”
After I got home, I looked it up. The verse is from James 1:17, and says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” This is one of my favourite chapters, and I’ve read this verse countless times. I’ve always thought the reference to shifting shadows was dark, foreboding, and sinister, but as I watched the sunset that night, a new realization hit me. Those shadows changing on the forested riverbanks were not sinister; they were beautiful, and just a small part of the bigger picture on the horizon.
Not all of life’s shadows are bad or gloomy. The shadows I watched form and shift that night were not scary, they were inspiring. These shadows were not part of the valley of the shadow of death. They were simply caused by the steady, regular, predictable cycle of the earth and sun, day and night. These shadows are part of the rhythm of life. They are part of God’s creation. He is the one who put the planets and stars in motion, and there is security in their predictability,
In the same way, the ups and downs, ebbing and flowing in life are natural. In some ways they are predictable. Have you ever heard the phrase “the more things change, the more they stay the same”? Through all the changes life may throw at us, we can rest assured that our Heavenly Father stays the same.
Sometimes the shadows in our life are dark, scary, and unknown. Sometimes the shadows are typical, predictable, and even reliable. Whether the shadows in our lives are “good” or “bad,” we don’t need to be afraid. God is constant and reliable. He does not change, and His character is rock solid. When everything else around us in life is uncertain, we can know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God is with us.
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” – Deuteronomy 31:8
“Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.” – Joshua 1:5
“And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:20