Psalm 121:1-2,5-6 – I lift up my eyes to the hills — where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. The Lord watches over you — the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. (NIV)
Looking through the bedding plants at the nursery recently, I noticed the plants were marked for "full sun", "partial sun", or "shade". This is important information for me, since I have large pecan trees in my yard that shade most of it during the late spring, summer, and early fall.
This shade does not create a problem for me. There are many beautiful plants that grow and bloom well in the shady areas. I utilize the shade-loving plants along with those loving full sun, and it works to produce a beautiful garden.
In our souls, there are shade-loving plants such as patience, long-suffering, and meekness that must be handled with special care. In these shady areas of the soul, we meet sorrow, sickness, and pain, but we know it is just a shadow and is good for our spiritual growth. The Keeper of our soul delights in these shade-loving plants and works to help them survive and bring forth beautiful blooms.
We learn there can be no shade without sunshine — and there are clear skies above the shade and shadows. Only those who have walked through the shadows are able to help others who suffer from sorrow, sickness, and pain.
Prayer: Lord, help us lift up our eyes through the shadows and know that You are there. You are the Maker of the heavens, of the earth, and of us. You will guide us through the shadows and the shady areas and use us to help others travel that path. Amen.