Originally Posted by Mike Young October 2005
It defies understanding…
Recently, I heard a story of a bow hunter drawing back on a deer, releasing the arrow expecting a direct hit. But instead, he buried the arrow deep in a small tree that stood between the hunter and the hunted. I’m not much of a hunter but it does seem odd that a comparably small obstacle could get in the way of a large target. Obviously, the guy didn’t see the tree in front of him when he released the arrow.
Isn’t it interesting how sometimes small details or obstacles that often we don’t even notice, can obscure larger more significant things?
One of the largest bodies that we have daily interaction with is the sun. As you well know, some times the bright light of the sun is blocked by the moon. *The event is called an eclipse. This is not a common phenomenon, but we are all aware that it happens. You may find the graphic below helpful in understanding how it occurs. Notice that not everyone will experience the full effect of the eclipse. Only a small “slice” of earth would experience total absence of sunlight as the shadow of the moon falls across the surface of the earth. Other adjacent areas would experience a partial shadow so their experience of darkness is not as intense.
Surely you are asking, “What does this have to do with anything?” Here’s the connection:
In our focal passage, Paul prays for the people of Ephesus to have the ability to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. The sun is so large that we really have trouble grasping its magnitude. Yet even the sun, as great as it is sometimes is obscured by a comparatively smaller body. The result is a dark shadow, an absence of light from a source that is typically reliable and consistent.
So the question I have for you is this… What comparatively small object, detail, sin, etc. is obscuring your ability to experience Christ. As long as this obstacle eclipses Christ, there will be a shadow on your life.
Consider the following passage:
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? …. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39
In the physical world, the heavenly bodies are in constant motion. Consequently, the effects of an eclipse are passing and short-lived. In our spiritual lives, however, we often stay in the shadow of a spiritual eclipse for extended periods of time.
Christ wants to shine into our lives; we have to move out of the shadows to experience His light.
I encourage you to consider what has recently moved between you and Christ. Then, if you are still in the shadow, pray that he will help you to have courage, determination and grace to step into the His light.
*On Monday, August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will be visible in totality within a band across the entire contiguous United States.