I went for a long walk tonight and I noticed something very interesting. Like any neighborhood street, there are street lights, and these lights provide areas that are lit. But there are also dark areas between the lit areas. As I walked I began to watch my shadow, and I noticed that when I was closest to the street light, my shadow was in it's smallest form which was proportional to my regular body size. Then, as I moved away from the light towards the darkness, my shadow became larger and larger. My shadow grew to ten times my normal height before disappearing into the darkness. This stirred my curiosity and as I came into the next light, I turned to see what my shadow looked like coming out of the darkness. It was the same as going into the darkness. It was ten times my height as I came into the light. So the pattern was that my shadow was very large coming out of the darkness, then it shrank as I came directly under the light, and then it once again enlarged as I headed into the darkness.
Then it hit me; what a great analogy of our journey with God. When we are in His presence, we are so small yet so significant. Our significance comes from the fact that He created us and our normal size in His presence is proof that who we are is enough, He doesn't require anything more of us. Yet, our purpose is to go into the darkness of this world and carry His light and life. As we move towards the darkness He increases us, not so that we will be okay, but so that we will stand out, that there would be something about our lives that is attractive to those who don't know Him. Sometimes we may feel as if He isn't there when we are in the darkness, but as we come back into the light of His presence, we see that we are still just as big in Him as we were when we went into the darkness. It's in the total darkness that we are required to trust Him. Trust that He is there, that He has increased us, and that He has given us what we need to make it to the next spot of light.
When I look down my street, the areas of darkness are greater than the areas of light. This too is illustrative of our lives. I imagine the goal would be that the more I grow in God, the longer stretch of a dark road I can walk down without a light. For every step I take in the darkness, there is a soul watching. Those in the dark cannot come into the light unless they are drawn. There are those who choose to never leave the light. Such was the case with the servant who buried his masters talent and out of fear chose not to venture out. Jesus called him wicked and said that when the master returned he took that persons talent and gave it to the one who had risked the most.
What does your road look like? Are the street lights very close or very far apart? It doesn't really matter. What does matter is that you keep moving. Enjoy the moments in the light, but don't stay there, move so that others can see and follow. And when you come around the bend and all you see is a long dark road, do not fear, for He is with you. You may not be able to see it now but you will. There will be another light and there will be another time of reassurance, but for now just TRUST.