Monday: Good News in the Midst of a Shadow (Genesis 3:14–15)
The shadow of the cross is present from the very beginning of humanity’s broken relationship with God – a reminder of pain and suffering and a promise of redemption and restored relationship. Where do you need to hear God’s promise of restoration in the midst of brokenness?
Tuesday: Shadows in the Midst of Good News (Matthew 2:16–18)
The shadows that lurk even in the midst of times of joy remind us of the desperate need of God’s light and that he was willing to enter our darkness. How have the shadows enabled you to see and experience the light of Christ’s presence more clearly?
Wednesday: The Shadow to the End of Time (Revelation 12:1–6)
After Christ’s ascension, the people of God are promised a place of provision in the wilderness – a place not absent of pain and suffering. What are the ongoing struggles of the people of God? How have you seen him provide in the midst of the wilderness experience?
Thursday: The Shadow of the Arena (Matthew 24:9)
Christ’s words in Matthew 24:9 and the life of martyrs like Perpetua and Felicity remind us that the message of the cross is incompatible with the message of the world – they are at odds with one another. As Christians, where have we made the mistake of entering the arena with the same weapons of hate and violence (at least in our hearts and minds) that the world uses instead of entering with humility, self-sacrifice, and the cross of Christ?
Take a moment to consider the darkness and brokenness of the human condition. When I struggle with this, I find that a good place to look is in the mirror – at my own pride, selfishness, jealousy, and contempt. Confess the times that you have fought fire with fire, the times you have entered the cultural arenas with weapons of hate, spite, sarcasm, and contempt. Pray that God would forgive the sins of his people.
Take a moment to lift up the areas of pain and suffering in your life where you need to experience the light of Christ in the midst of the shadows of life. Praise God that he sent his Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, into the darkness of this world.
Praise God that he not only knows our pain but shares in it. Be encouraged that he is with you in whatever arena of pain and struggle in which you find yourself! Praise God that though we may find ourselves in the wilderness it is not only a place of wandering, but also a place of his miraculous and gracious provision.