Thursday, May 10, 2012

When Shadows Come


Coping with life's shadows


Maybe you are having a rough week.  Perhaps your life circumstances are rough all the time.  How do we get out of these seasons of one crisis to another or continuous desert moments?  
 How do you cope?

When we are overshadowed with life we look to the shadow of the cross.  We look to the One who conquered all.

The disciples knew of desperate times.  They had traveled with Jesus for three years.  They had watched him heal and heard him teach.  They fished, prayed and rested with him.  They had some intense times of fellowship.  They were a band of brothers.  They worshiped together; they grew in the faith together, and they experienced God's word in living color.  As they went through adversity they had community.  

When life brought the shadow of the cross, they faltered.  One denied, one took his life, and they mourned the death of a dear friend.  In spite of their desperate outlook, they had fellowship through community.  

When you are in the throes of life's shadows, 
you need the community that you find in Christian friendships.

God has ways of reminding us that we are not alone.  God loves to shine through His people to pray, to give comfort, to lean on, to let you know that He's got this crisis just like He had the last one.  God's grace appears through the kindness of a dear friend who brings you a meal or a chocolate cupcake.  In the hands who give you a Kleenex in the surgery waiting room, and through the nurse who touches your arm in the hallway and whispers "It's going to be ok".  He shines in His people who have built community in your fellowship.  He shines in the confident prayers of the saints and reveals His faithfulness. 

There are many pieces to this tapestry that He is weaving with your life threads.  As He weaves the shadows with His shine, we have community as we receive His peace as our source of strength.  No matter what comes...you know that God is holding you.   The faith of community weaves into your shadowed life.  As we mix and mingle, share and care, and see and feel, we can know that God is in each and every stitch.  

We see with the eyes of our heart.

When the disciples reached a desperate desert moment, they had each other.  Their hearts must have exploded with grief as they mourned their loss.  It was a bleak Friday.  Joy was overshadowed by dashed hopes and hearts.  But yet, they stuck together as they kept reaching, kept seeking, kept praying.  They didn't forsake the assembly of believers.  They encouraged, comforted, cried and communed together.

They were the church.

I love it when Jesus shows up.  The first thing he does when he sees their sad faces? He took away their fear.  "My peace is with you", Jesus said.  Peace drives out fear every time.  Hearts that were overshadowed with fear now illuminated His peace. There was no place for doubt and grief.  The believers conquered their desperation together. They looked to the One who conquered and rested in the fact that their risen Savior was alive and true.  

When life’s shadows slip in and leave you with fear and doubt, look to the One who gives peace and comfort.  Lean on your fellowship of community.  Rest and trust that God will show up and help you see Him shine with the eyes of your heart.  The shadows will soon disappear as He is revealed.      
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