Yesterday, Today, to Infinity



Ottertail River 2-2-17

Examine the shadows please. First, look at the shadows on the river ice in the photo. What shapes can you see? Now what makes a shadow? A shadow defined is a dark shape that appears on a surface when someone or something moves between the surface and a source of light* Now a few basic shadow details. We know there are things that will not cause shadows. Transparent materials allow light to pass through them. Glass is an example of something transparent. No shadow here.  Translucent materials allow some light to pass through, but scatter light in all directions. Tissue paper is an object that is translucent. But, if something is opaque no light can pass. A rock is opaque. Rocks create shadows. Since translucent objects allow some light to pass through them, they create faint shadows. What about opaque objects? If you have concluded they create dark shadows you are correct. Since no light passes through them they create shadows which are dark. A bit more on shadows. An opaque object close to the light source makes a large shadow. The farther away the object is from the light source the smaller the shadow. The sun is the brightest light source for generating shadows. A rising or setting sun casts the longest shadows. A midday sun casts short shadows. Because the earth is in orbit around the light source (sun) shadows move. In earth locations far from the equator shadows are long in winter, even at midday because the sun is lower to the horizon during this season.


There is beauty in shadows. This beauty is greatly enhanced when the shadows are cast upon a strong contrasting color like brilliant white snow. A dark tree shadow on  snow creates a stunning design. Add the silhouettes of dozens of trees on the flat white surface of a lake and human eyes have a constantly changing beauty feast. Birds in flight in winter over snow create fluid shadows the eye may catch for just seconds. Snow drifts create uncommon shadows. Our own bodies create a dark object we delight in seeing, even playing with. We can make little shadows. There is ONE who can make shadows that eclipse the moon, and sun.

Shadows teach us about God. All of us have experiences with shadows. We know what they do. Most humans have made shadows using hand, foot, or another object. We entertain ourselves, even our pets with shadows. We know shadows come and go. They are long and short in a day. When the light is gone, they disappear. Shadows are not dependable. Sundial clocks fail when the sun sets. We understand this about shadows. God is not like a shadow. Shadows change. God never does. He is eternally the same. The beauty of a shadow is temporary. God is everlasting. His glory, His majesty, His power unchanging. His love for you and me; always steady, always dependable, predictable, always the same. His Word is true: yesterday, now, forever in the future. The One who makes shadows never changes. This world is filled with change and uncertainty and things which are here today and gone the next.  Let these two truths sink to the center of your soul: One, God NEVER changes. Two, He loves you, now and forever. Next time you see a shadow, remember the ONE who makes them. One day someday all will see the shadow maker, The Great I AM. Till then we can see shadows, beautiful reminders of the Changeless Creator.

Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.

James 1:17 New Living Translation*