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When Shadows Disappear

August 23, 2017 No Comment

Rev. Paul Zabel

by Paul Zabel

“And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them.” – Isaiah 42:16

Although Helen Keller was blind to the sun which shines in the sky, the eyes of her soul enabled her to capture a sunshine for her life which no one was able to take from her. The darkness which had crowded about her on every side did not blot out the sunshine in her heart. This quote, which is attributed to her, summed up her philosophy: “Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows. It’s what the sunflowers do!” What a wonderful thought to ever keep with us.

Based upon Isaiah 42:16 and the familiar words of Psalm 119:105 which reads: “Your word is lamp to my feet and a light to my path,” I would like to add to Helen Keller’s statement this insight — If we keep looking to God, who is the Light of the world, the shadows will disappear. There will be a brightness about living which we can always possess, because coming from our Lord and our God, as His Word assures us, there will always be “a lamp to our feet and a light to our path” that will never go out and will illuminate the pathways that we walk day by day.

If we keep looking to God, there will always be “a lamp to our feet and a light to our path” that will never go out and will illuminate the pathways that we walk day by day.

There was once a group of friends who started out together to climb a rather steep mountain. One of them became rather ambitious and hurried along ahead of the others, so that finally he became separated from those with whom he was climbing. It was not until the others had scaled a steep precipice that they were united with their friend once again. There he was, sitting on a large rock looking out over the beautiful scenery below. However, the view was obstructed by some trees that dotted the face of the mountain. So, as the others approached, the first thing that the ambitious climber said was, “Now that you are here, let us all go up a bit higher. Together, let us scale up that dangerous cliff over there, which I was unable to climb myself, to get an even better view.” The point being, that what this individual was unable to do alone, he was able to accomplish with the help of the others.

How often do we not find ourselves also thinking that God’s ways seem too slow for us? We cannot wait, so we hurry on by ourselves. Only to discover, as we face some impossible situation, that we too, are unable to carry on alone, that we are not able to achieve, not only what we want and desire, but also the greatest and most important victories—without the presence of our almighty and loving and gracious Lord and God. But with Him we climb to heights of undreamed beauty!


Rev. Paul Zabel is President of the East District of Lutheran Church–Canada.

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