The Shadow-lands

Wandering alone in the shadow-lands. That’s how I described life and ministry to a friend almost two years ago. Darkness seemed endless and (to be honest) my faith felt unstable. I was afraid of my weakness and overconfident in my abilities. (I had no idea what lay ahead. It was far worse than I could have anticipated.)

My friend did not respond to the plea of my aching soul as I hoped. In fact I initially despised his words. He said, “My first matter of prayer for you is that you will see God in the shadow-lands; that even without the good times, good feeling, and showers of blessings you will be satisfied with just Him, Himself … for however long God purposes to be the sole encouragement you have.”

I like chocolate. I like coffee. I like rich worship, family fun, and walking with my wife. I do not like pain…hurt…loneliness or suffering, at all! The words of my “friend” stung with the reality of my having to walk through the valley of the shadow.

My perspective for months was suffocating in grief and uncertainty. My friends perspective was that we, “would never choose to go (to the shadow-lands). But that is precisely why God wisely and lovingly superintends our paths to bring us there.”

The exhortation of my friend, was to seek and to see God in the darkness. His prayer was for my success, not my relief. Life during that entire season was extremely unsettling; which I discovered, was the point.

God does not need me, I need Him.

Are you currently in the shadow-lands? I urge you to spend some time with God here: Deuteronomy 8:2-3; Nahum 1:7; Exodus 14:13; Psalm 46:1-3; 2 Corinthians 12:9-11

“Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God.”

2 Corinthians 3:4-5

I am weak, but He is strong.

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Lord, You are my everything

flat,550x550,075,fLord, You are my Comfort.
When hard times come my way,
Your presence never leaves me.
You are with me all the way.

Lord, You are my Strength.
When I grow weary in this land,
Never will I falter.
I’m upheld by Your right hand.

Lord, You are my Peace.
You are the calmer of my fears.
When worries overwhelm me,
Your love wipes away my tears.

Lord, You’re my Sustainer,
You hold me safely at Your side.
I will make it through the storms,
Because in You I will abide.

Lord, You are my Joy.
Amidst the trials and the pain,
I trust Your sovereign care.
I see the Son between the rain.

Lord, You are my Rock,
My firm foundation, solid ground.
You are mighty and unchanging,
You have no limits and no bounds.

Lord, You are my Everything,
Life with You is complete.
One day You’ll bring me home to You,
And I will worship at Your feet.

~ By Jackie Arnoldi