It was one of those days when the clouds race across the sky, giving patches of shade and sunshine. As a big shadow covered the sun and the warmth faded, it made me realise that shadows cannot hurt us. They may take the warmth and joy out of the day while they linger, but they will always pass and the sun will shine again. We go through bad times, and then find that time does heal the losses we have experienced, and the hurts we have suffered.
There is a well known verse in the Bible that sums it all up….Yes, even though I go through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for You (God) are with me, and Your rod and staff comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)
We can know God’s comfort if we look to Him for it, but unless we roll all our cares on Him and leave them there and thanking Him for the answer we get to our prayers, we cannot know His peace that passes all our understanding. ( Philippians 4:7)
When I was much younger, I remember an older lady telling me of her experience with the Lord. She was facing a serious operation in hospital, and was a bit panicky about the whole thing. As time went by getting closer to going into the theatre, she had been praying about the whole situation. As the nurses came in to prep her for the operation, she suddenly felt a wonderful peace envelop her, and she knew that the Lord was with her and that there was nothing to fear which ever way things turned out.
The operation was performed and was successful. When she came to, the feeling of peace was still with her. She revelled in it and the knowledge that she was in God's hands, and went back to sleep again. When she woke up the next time, the feeling of God's presence had faded somewhat, and by the next morning it was gone. It hurt to move and she needed to take pain killers to relieve the pain.
She felt a bit peeved that she had lost that wonderful feeling of God's presence that she had had prior to the operation, and she figuratively kicked the heels of her mind, and demanded of God why she wasn't still wasn't feeling the Heavenly Presence with her. As clear as bell, the answer popped into her mind, "My child, you are getting better now and don't need to live by feelings any more. You need to exercise your faith in Me. When you needed Me in your weakness and fear, I allowed you to feel My presence with you and to know that My Everlasting Arms were under you whatever happened, but now you are getting stronger and better, and I require you to walk by faith once more!"
My older friend said quietly after she had told me that story, "I have never forgotten that experience and it taught me a valuable lesson that I might not have learned any other way."
So the next time you are going through a tough time, just remember that whether you feel it or not, God's everlasting arms ARE under you if you belong to Him and that He will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5b).