Ep. 15 – Phoenix – Playing in The Shadows
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👇 transcription below
You’ve got to love kids! I am often caught short by something they say that is so honest and true. Sometimes it is something I say to them—usually in instruction mode—that speaks afresh to me. Today was such a day.
Three of my grandchildren were watching Toy Story II when the 5-year old and 3-year old simultaneously shrieked in fear at Buzz Light Year’s being in danger. I turned to them with my words of comfort: “Don’t worry. Remember, you already know how this ends. Everything turns out okay.” Usually I add, “It’s just a movie.”
The point is that we also have read the ending. We do know how this all ends. God wins.
If we believe in Him, we have to believe what He says to comfort us when times are scary: “I’ll never leave you nor forsake you…I am with you to the end of the earth…Be anxious for nothing…Fear God, not what man can do to you.” The only good thing that fear of man can accomplish is to bring us to our knees at which point we are in perfect position to beseech our God for His deliverance.
We need to remember that the world we are in is also just a “movie.” There are those who would describe this world as a shadow of the world to come. Shadows are the result of the real thing blocking the light source so that a darkened silhouette follows the actual object. Things get blurred in Shadow Land. Distinctions are less clear. But the real thing is crisp and crystal clear.
So many of us treat the shadow as if it were the real thing. This is dangerous on many levels, but the scariest is that we make life-altering decisions based on the blur we are in. In this fog it is easy to succumb to relativism. That phrase is so commonly placed at the beginning of a comment – “Relatively speaking…”
That has to be the most difficult lesson our Lord wants us to understand. With him, there are clear distinctions. The value of one thing is not only as it fits in with everything around it. It is not relative but is important on its own.
It is these precise, clear-cut lines that are the essence of who God is. We get it when He describes His very act of Creation in that way. “There was night and there was day…and God said it was good…” He made distinctions between all the aspects of creation to present a world in perfect balance. Even the creating of woman was described this way. God’s distinctives are for mutual blessing. Ask Adam.
So when I get confused, mistaking the shadow for the real thing, I often just spend time with my grandkids. They exist in a smaller bubble of reality where movie characters are in constant danger. It is challenging to help them see the situation for what it really is. Just like in some of their movies, there is a lot of hype in our world that would have us fearful at what we see unfolding around us. We have to be reminded it is all just shadow.
The only way out of the shadow is to turn directly to the source of light – God Himself. He has provided so many ways for us to access his wisdom for our lives. No matter what our current challenge is, His Word gives us perspective, not relativity. When we see things as God sees them, we are enveloped by His hope and peace. It’s about turning off the movie in our heads so we can receive His images instead. “Fear not.”