Recently I was leading our congregation in the old hymn “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” I’ve always been intrigued by a particular phrase in verse 1.
Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father
There is no shadow of turning with Thee
Thou changes not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be
There is no shadow of turning with God.
Think about that for a minute.
A shadow is formed when an object blocks another light source.
This means there has to be an external light source in order for a shadow to be created.
There is no light source other than God. He is the source. There is no shadow when He turns.There is no other source of Light and Truth.He is constant, everlasting, and never-changing.Without Him, there is only darkness… not even a shadow!
Consider James 1: 17
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.
…or I John 1: 5-6
This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth.
So what does it mean then; to live, to worship, to embrace His light?
When we live and worship in the shadows, it may look a little something like this:
- Living in fear, shame or regret
- Faking it, in fear of being fully and honestly known
- Denial of our own character flaws & how they impact others
- Sweeping issues under the rug, hoping they’ll go away
- Judging others, while ignoring our own secret stuff
- Creating unnecessary drama or conflict
When we live and worship in the Light, it may look a little something like this:
- Choosing to live in honesty, tempered with love & compassion
- Embracing God’s grace and forgiveness, and extending that to others
- Allowing for vulnerability & relationship, with ourselves and others
- Realizing none of us are perfect, only humans saved by an incredible, merciful God
- Exposing the lies we believe & replacing them with the light of Truth
- Extending love, grace and peace to others
When we truly believe the concept that we are not the Source of Light and Truth- only God is-we can then understand that we are mere reflections of His light.
We don’t have to perform. We don’t have to be harsh with ourselves or others.
We simply reflect Him.
It sure takes the pressure off doesn’t it?
But here’s the other thing: it also takes effort on our part… the practicing the Truth part.
It takes digging into His Word, meditating on His Truth and intentional abiding in Christ.
It takes a whole lot of honesty and humble introspection.
It takes letting the Spirit reveal the Truth to us and embracing it deep in our souls.
It takes practice to flesh it out in our real lives, not just in our heads.
So I ask you dear friend, what are you reflecting?
Love the hymn? Check out one of my favorite versions: