I have been attending a watercolour class and our art teacher keeps reminding us of the vital principles for painting pictures. One of these principles is to remember the shadows. I have a tendency to like and enjoy the light or bright colours. I don’t naturally turn to the dark colours and somehow I have a resistance to putting them in the picture. Yet when I saw what they produced I was delighted because they complete the picture, and indeed give it life!
As I thought about this, I realised how easy it is to try and make our lives a pretty picture without shadows. But shadows make up the reality of life and without the shadows life would be flat and unreal. Shadows are an essential part of life and make life what it is. If we could understand this principle we would welcome shadows because with the light and the sun they produce depth, form and movement.
We should be careful not to reject the shadows which come into our life but rather see them as working out a picture which has rich meaning. If we allow the Master Artist to hold the brush of our lives, He’ll bring something beautiful out of the darkest place. The shadows themselves can do the work of enhancing life if we allow the Artist to do His work.
But it’s so easy to reject them and fight them rather than embrace them in a way which God can use. We see them as unwelcome intrusions. Other times we blame ourselves for them rather than accepting them as part of life’s circumstances and trusting the Artist to turn them to good.
We can see the shadows of our life through the suffering we’ve gone through, or life’s toil, and the general difficulties of living in this fallen world, where we do have to struggle with stresses and strains. The Lord Jesus doesn’t want us to turn on ourselves or others in rejection and hopelessness, but rather trust Him. As we yield to Him the shadows will contrast with the light and the overall picture of our lives will be beautified even though we might not see it at this present time. The key is to yield to Him.
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, I come in fresh trust to You for the circumstances in my life today. I ask You to take the good, the bad and the difficult aspects and to turn them into a beautiful picture hallmarked by You, the Master Artist. Amen.
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