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The Shadow Is My Friend
“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints." Ps. 116:15
Every so often, the shadows come back to haunt. Memories of “failed” faith…
…the times when God did not come through—though there was a word, a promise, a trust, a covenant—
Not about what didn’t matter, but about what did—things that cost everything. Waiting for that eleventh hour deliverance, putting all on the line—where there was a word, a promise, a trust, a covenant—
…the child—the spouse—that was supposed to be healed, to live….the family estate—the home, the farm—that was supposed to be redeemed from foreclosure…the land rescued from the developer… the marriage that was supposed to be saved, or that was supposed to happen…
It didn’t happen.
The land, the home, was lost. The divorce went through...the cherished one married another. The funeral was held…
And you were left to pick up the pieces, left “holding the bag.” You had the faith, the action, and the word—nor yours only, but words from others also. Still, God was “not” on time. He did “not” show up. And you were left to “cover for Him.”
But it was too late. Your friends and followers deserted. They did their best to stand by you. But it wasn’t “their baby.”
So now, your ministry, or your chance for it, was also gone. Shattered into a thousand pieces. No more credibility. Now, not only pain, but also shame.
(“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”)
Then came the faith for the “resurrection.” A second Wind rose from within. You didn’t give up. You knew it was too late. But God was still the God of miracles. “Greater glory for Him,” you thought. “Yes. Did not Isaac come back?”
But time remained in command and did not stand still. This Isaac was not going to come back. With faith pushed to the brink of insanity, the still small voice turned and whispered…”Now let go.” And you did. So help you God, you could do no other.
Your own death certificate was now issued.
Many years have passed—even decades. The pain of soul has healed. Your joy in the Lord has been restored. You have come back to life. You can sing again, and love again, and dance again in the congregation. The Lord’s Presence is still your portion, as it always was, and never did leave you. New directions have replaced past hopes. Life has become kinder to you. “The lines have fallen in pleasant places.”
But—like nail-pierced scars—the shadow remains.
Now, it is no longer your pain (or is it?), but someone else’s—a friend, a young believer, a passionate firebrand for our God—and you want to help. You want to be there for them. You want to encourage them to remain strong, to believe, to not give up. It’s your turn to give the word of faith—again.
And the shadow returns.
You know what to say:
“Don’t give up on God’s promise, dear one.”
But deep within, your heart is secretly tongue-tied. You can only speak from a faith beyond yourself, but not one you can comprehend. For you now prophesy to one of a deliverance you did not receive. And you know you cannot allow your shadow to taint the present faith of another.
“How long O Lord?” is the secret cry of the soul slain under the altar.
“When will the now unmentionable ‘what-was-it-all-about’ resolve? How will it come clear—to reveal where heaven at last meets earth to vindicate the righteousness of faith long past?...”
While you wait under that altar, the Spirit speaks from the shadow that yet falls forward from past demise...
“You do remember (do you not) your other request of me in those days?”
“When you were filled with zeal, when you answered my call to seize the horns of the altar over the desire I placed in you—when you said ‘somebody has to prove God will honor faith to do in this world what He said He would do!’—do you not remember your other request?”
(“What request, Lord?”)
“You ‘made covenant with Me—by sacrifice.’ You said—‘Lord, As much as I want this, I don’t want this for myself. But I want to be conformed to your image. More than anything (you said), I want to be conformed to Your image.”
“I did answer you. I did conform you to My image. I put you to death—as you requested. And now, the shadow of the nail print abides in your heart.
You must understand. It was not possible to fulfill here your deep earthside prayer and simultaneously grant your higher desire toward My image. The earth desire I gave you with its promises—and its demise—was in answer to your higher desire for My image.” It was necessary to defer My fulfillment to a different realm.
“Remaining faithful, you always chose the better portion. When all was finally lost on earth, you did not deny my name or second guess my faithfulness. You bore your pain—and your shame—with grace. And you continued to justify Me (not yourself) and to front for Me before others when you had no way left to do so.”
“But do not think your faith was for naught—without final tangible reward or fulfillment. My promises were real. They were not lies. The prophecies were genuine. They were not misguided. And no word returns to me empty. And although ‘you may no longer speak to me of this matter’ (it is past yours to contemplate), rest assured, the shadow in your soul will one day be filled with light. From its permanent imprint will stream forth glorified fulfillment as shall stream forth from My own nail pierced hands.”
“For as I will regain what I once lost by Death, so will you regain all you have lost by your death. I will receive My people past again, and you will receive yours again. I will soon again receive My Land, and will you receive yours back again also.”
“But until then, the shadow is your friend. Let it be to you the seal on your heart of our Covenant. Know that it is its own guarantee of what still awaits you. Do not fear it nor be perplexed for the sake of others.
Let not the shadow hinder your ministry to all who yet seek me by faith for their earth realms. Minister past it from your higher faith, as you have ever since that fateful day. Be not afraid to declare any word of faith; or to die again to one as well—however tempered your zeal toward such may now be.”
“Remember, precious in My sight was your death.”
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil…
(“And to every one of them were given white robes.”)
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
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Page created March 7, 2007