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Seeds of the Kingdom

Shadows

by Dean Gardner

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust!”
Psalm 91:1-2, NASB

On my fiftieth birthday, over seventeen years ago now, one of my sisters gave me a photo frame engraved with the words ‘50th Birthday’. In the frame was a photo taken when I was still less than two years old. In the photo I was sitting in a small white pedal car in our back garden. That car was almost certainly my favourite toy at that time. I remember it even had battery powered lights that lit with the press of a button on the small dashboard.

Looking on behind me in the photo was our puppy Smiley and my mum standing in the open kitchen door. The photo was taken by my dad, who obviously wasn’t in the photo, but if you look closely, there on the ground is his shadow, as he stood camera in hand with the sun behind him. I’ve got another photo taken three or four years later of me and my younger sister who gave me the photo frame. As you look at that photo, there again is the shadow of my dad.

As I’ve thought of those photos, it struck me that although you couldn’t see my dad in them, you knew that he was present by his shadow. Our verses today from Psalm 91 speak of living in the very shadow of God, knowing Him as the One who though unseen is present in every circumstance and moment of our lives.

I’ve never forgotten the words of an old chorus that I heard many years ago.

‘Standing somewhere in the shadows you'll find Jesus,
He's the Friend who always cares and understands.
Standing somewhere in the shadows you will find Him
And you'll know Him by the nail prints in His hands.’


Many things cast their shadows over us as we journey through life. Psalm 91 describes some of them. The ultimate shadow we encounter in life is death, our own, or someone’s we love. Since I began writing this Seed, I’ve experienced the sudden death of my mum.

It’s cast a very real and painful shadow over me, but I can say that I’ve found the words of the chorus above to be true as I’ve walked the dark valley of mourning her passing. Jesus has been there when I’ve wept, and He’s been there giving me strength to carry out my responsibilities as the executor of her will.

When we watch a movie, it’s made up of thousands of still images or frames that together produce the story that unfolds before our eyes. In the story of our lives as God’s children, our heavenly Father is present in every frame and moment. Whatever you are going through in your life, as you read this Seed today, I pray that you will know that Jesus is there with you just as He promised.

Dean Gardner worked part time in the Ellel Grange Ministry Office for four and a half years until October 2018 and is now part of the Associate teaching and ministry team. He now lives in Norfolk with his wife Gemma. In 1988 he experienced God`s amazing grace at a carol service and began a journey of restoration and healing with Jesus. He longs to continue that journey allowing God`s truth to change his own life but also to share that truth with others that they too might know Jesus for themselves.

 

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