Tag Archives: shadow

Location, Location, Location!

You have been speaking to me, Father, and You know that my heart’s desire is to clearly hear what You have for me. Give me a burning desire to draw closer to You, to spend time with You in prayer. My relationship with You must be the most important thing in my life – everything else will fall into place when You, Father, are at the center. Amen.

Matthew 4:12-17 (<<click the green)

As I have sat here pondering this passage, Lord, I was curious to see where all these places were. I recognize the names of them but I really didn’t know if they were close together or far apart.

After looking at one of the maps in the back of my Bible, I figured out that Judea is a region of Israel where Jerusalem and Bethlehem were. The wilderness where You were tempted was here as well. So putting that all together, You probably had to travel approximately 45 miles to get to Galilee, where Nazareth and Capernaum were located. That’s about a 15-hour walk! But where You chose to center Your ministry was of extreme importance. Many important things would take place in Judea but equally important was what would take place in Galilee.

As is the case today, You are always in the right place at the right time. For the third time in four chapters, Matthew refers to a proclamation of the prophet Isaiah. Yes, it’s important to realize Your relocation fulfilled prophecy but it also put You in a place where there would be many people who needed You on so many levels.

Lord, You go where You are needed. In Galilee, there were many Jews but there were many Gentiles there as well. Isaiah refers to the people in this area as those “who sat in darkness” and “those who lived in the land where death casts its shadow”. For those with no true hope, Hope has come. For those in darkness, “a light has shined.”

I know You are always with me, Lord, but I would pray that You would shine brightly through me. I am in a land of darkness – a land where “death casts its shadow”. Use me to touch the lives of those in my location. May I bring Hope. Amen.

Oct 4th, Wed, 6:22 am

A Passing Shadow

It is early, Father, but there is a wonderful feeling of comfort even lying in bed contemplating our time together. There is no fear, there is no shying away. I am drawn to You. I know it will be a rich time together. I know I am understood – even with all my flaws – and I know I am loved beyond all measure. Increase my understanding of You. Though I realize that, at least on this side of eternity, it will be only the smallest fraction of understanding, it is so worth the effort. Every moment spent with You yields great rewards, helping me to become more and more like You. Bless me, my Father.

In moments of consciousness throughout the night, my mind has lighted on the many different situations in which I find myself. Through many stretches of life I find things running along quite smoothly – no major snags or crisis. But this has not been the case in recent weeks – so many people on so many fronts dealing with so many life changing struggles and heartaches. Lord, I realize that this is not an earth-shattering epiphany but life is fragile.

Just in the last couple of weeks, I have been touched by the lives of those who have lost loved ones – both young and old. I have seen what strokes can do to the lives of family and loved ones. I have sat by the bedside of an individual who was once strong and vibrant and now is unable to move from their bed as they await their final breaths. And those are only a few of the many. Time marches on – it cannot be stopped. We are at its mercy, carried along with no control.

We can surely relate to Job’s statement from time long ago.

“How frail is humanity! How short is life, how full of trouble! We blossom like a flower and then wither. Like a passing shadow, we quickly disappear.” Job 14:1-2

Lord, there are so many things is this life that You give us in which to find pleasure. Yes, there is much pain and sorrow but there is also much joy and love. We also know that while on this earth we may be ruled by time but when our shadows disappear from this earth our everlasting souls will carry on. You are with us here and You await us there and Your gift of salvation assures us of an eternity together.

I seem to be rambling on but my main thought was not the downside of life but, Lord, may I take advantage of all the good that life has to offer. May I love to the fullest. May I take every opportunity to embrace and appreciate others in my life. May I cherish the time we have, though it is fleeting. May I not waste it. May I not look back and regret what I did – or didn’t do – with the time I did have. Amen.

Mar 6th, Mon, 4:58 am

The Answer

Today is the day, Father, when many things must get done. I give myself over to You. Help me to focus on the task at hand. Help me to be sensitive to Your leading. May this vessel be deemed worthy to bear Your Word. Amen.

Hebrews 7:1-14 (<<click here)

As the book of Isaiah tells us “… my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than Your thoughts.” 55:9 Lord, this is surely true of You. This passage from Hebrews 7 is shrouded in mystery and in the middle of it all is the priest/king Melchizedek. He is first mentioned in Genesis 14 in an encounter with Abram and his name pops up again in Psalm 110. The number of verses with which he is associated in the Old Testament are few but obviously in light of his impact on the writer of Hebrews he plays a substantial role in the mindset of first century Judaism.

I don’t pretend to understand everything in regards to the character of Melchizedek but I do realize that he was a precursor of Christ. God Almighty laid things out for the nation of Israel to give them guidance in following him – the Law, the tabernacle/temple and all their multifaceted directives. It was what they needed at that time but in a lot of ways it was only a shadow or maybe a reflection of what was reality in view of eternity.

Christ, the ultimate, priest/king, brought everything together. He completed it. He showed the reality of what the Law and the Temple only reflected. In his life, death and resurrection, Jesus fulfilled it all!

Lord Jesus, thank You for all You did. Oh my, it was not a simple matter to do so – but You took something of great complexity – something that we were absolutely incapable of solving – and with great sacrifice on so many fronts You provided the answer. And that answer was You!

All the requirements have been met. All the penalties have been paid. Every “i” has been dotted; every “t” has been crossed. Life is so complicated and messy. Many spend their lives searching for answers and it is futile if the only place we look is this world. Only when we look to You does it fall into place – holes are filled, rough places are made smooth (Isaiah 40:4, Luke 3:5) Thank You, Lord, for being the answer for which we long have searched!

Mar 24th, Thurs, 6:28 am