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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Shadow Proves the Sunshine

A few years ago the band Switchfoot sang a song called, "The Shadow Proves the Sunshine". It instantly became a favorite of mine because, at the time, my life seemed filled with shadows of every sort. And, I was pretty desperate for any glimpse or hint of sunshine.

There were issues with my children, my parents, my marriage, my extended family, our finances and eventually with my faith. I know now that any seasoned, mature believer looking at my life - from the outside - would have recognized very clearly the hand of God at work. They would have seen the furnace being turned up 7 times hotter. They would have witnessed the shaking of everything that could be shaken - including, and especially, my faith in Jesus. And they'd have understood that what I was experiencing was no different than what all sold-out believers eventually experience - intense time on the potter's wheel.

At the time, I simply could not comprehend a God who could love me and allow such brokenness. How could He claim to love me, then not "fix" things when I called out to Him? How could His word describe Him as possessing 'everlasting' love when I couldn't find any evidence that He was even listening? It didn't fit any description of love I knew.

Thankfully, there is hope for even the most immature among us! God's patience knows no end. When He looks at us, He doesn't see our self-created mess, He sees what He planned for us to be - before He even created us. He sees the gifts and callings that were placed in us long ago. And, He sees Jesus. Trouble is, all of that is hidden most of the time under layers of "life". So, in His infinite wisdom, and deep abiding love for us, He places us on the potter's wheel. He puts His hands on our lives and does what only He can do. Like a good parent, He ignores our selfish pleas and our begging for things that are not good for us. The wheel is not comfortable and at times - unbearable - but only He knows what the end result should look like.

Eventually, He removes His hands and we are left to choose. We can remain on the wheel and trust what we don't understand, or jump off because it's too difficult and we just don't trust that the Potter knows what He's really doing.

I'd never purposely choose to endure the potter's wheel - the heartache, confusion or loss in life. But it seems that these are some of the tools that God uses to change our perspective from earthly to heavenly, from temporal to eternal, from 'my way' to His ways.

The Potter's wheel changes how we "see" life.

What was once 'dreary cold winter' becomes a reminder of how much I love spring.
What was once sickness makes me so thankful for health.
What was once bondage serves as a reminder of how good freedom feels.
Darkness sends me in search of light.
Arrows from the enemy send me running to my Father.
Weakness reminds me of His strength.

"But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in Him.
He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit."
Jeremiah 17:7-8

Today, I don't mind the shadows so much. They help me locate the s u n s h i n e.

In Him . . .

Visit Darnelle at her personal blog:
All Things Work Together. . .

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Blogger Denise said...

Amen, very beautiful sweet one.

March 4, 2008 at 5:15 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

What a perfect metaphor and description of "those days." Thanks for hanging onto Jesus during the dark times so you could encourage others.

March 4, 2008 at 7:02 AM  
Blogger Heather@Mommymonk said...

What an encouraging post. I love the way you turned around the shadows into the proof of light. Without winter we could not have spring. I needed to hear this today!

March 4, 2008 at 8:10 AM  
Blogger Linda said...

This is why people need "devotionals." When you're surrounded by shadows, it is tough to think clearly and remember that we belong to Him and how faithful and trustworthy His character is. Thank you for the great encouragement.

March 4, 2008 at 8:18 AM  
Blogger lori said...

"Thankfully, there is hope for even the most immature among us!"

Ah yes, time on the wheel...I actually give out these little clay pots to people when they are let them know that it is all in HIS WILL....
I too, do not "purposely choose to endure the wheel," but each time I have come away whole being!
Changed in how I "SEE" things....which is funny since my post today in on "VISION...."

time on The POTTER'S WHEEL is never for not....
thank you for this...
and the last's priceless!
I LOVE last lines like that...
"Today I don't mind the shadows so much. They help me locate the sunshine.." (can I quote you when I use that on a card...????) That was perfect!!
love you girl!


March 4, 2008 at 8:41 AM  
Blogger Angie said...

Oh Darnelle....what victory in those words! What a testimony of His grace and mercy! YOU are the pen in the Hand of the WRITER---the ultimate WRITER of the life of each one of us....
God bless you for the words that have touched my heart today!

March 4, 2008 at 8:53 AM  
Blogger windycindy said...

Thanks for the inspirational thoughts! There is so much truth in what you write.....Cindi

March 4, 2008 at 9:11 AM  
Blogger Mocha with Linda said...

I LOVE this! The shadows show where the sunshine is. What a great truth. I'll start looking for the sun instead of staring at the shadow!!

March 4, 2008 at 9:14 AM  
Blogger Chris @ Come to the Table said...

Thanks for sharing so openly with us Darnelle.

This was beautfiul!

March 4, 2008 at 11:47 PM  
Blogger Praise and Coffee said...

I love the way you describe the potter's wheel.
Awesome, and encouraging post!!!

March 5, 2008 at 5:48 AM  
Blogger The Preacher's Wife said...


You are awesome.

That's all. :)


March 5, 2008 at 9:20 AM  

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It is good to hear from you... thank you so very much for leaving a note on the table. That makes us smile!

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