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Sunlight and Shadow
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I watch each day as the bright, gold colors of the aspen trees slowly creep down the mountainside. A small group of aspen nestle against the dark, green of the spruce outside my cabin window. I marvel as the morning sunlight intensifies their color. When I walk to the nearby creek, the sunlight sparkles on the splashing water and warms the red and yellow rocks of the canyon wall that guards the stream.  

As a beginning artist I wanted to capture the light on my canvases. Light sparkling on the dew covered grass; light shining in the eyes of my children; and light caressing the backs of the horses grazing in the pasture.

But something was wrong. My paintings were flat and uninteresting. Through practice and more art classes I discovered it is the dark, rich colors and shadows that add depth and character to a painting. These dark colors intensify the light and help to change an ordinary piece of art into something extraordinary.

We often dream of a life of ease and plenty. No money problems, job failures, family frictions, failed relationships or illnesses. We wish to walk in the sunlight of blessings and never again be bothered with problems.  

At times life is good; we are doing well; we have no need of anything else. God whispers, “Remember me.” We ignore His invitation. We are so wrapped up in our busy life that there just isn’t any time—maybe tomorrow we will listen.

Trust Me

Then one day we realize something is missing. Instead of happiness, our hearts are filled with despair and everything we do seems futile. Insurmountable troubles cascade over us. We stumble and get up, only to encounter another problem. Nothing is going right and then God whispers again, “Trust me,”—and this time we listen. We take His hand and step by step He leads us through the darkness, out of our valley of despair, into the incredible light of His love. Our hearts overflow with gratitude and happiness.

When we look back on our experiences, we realize that it was the tough times, the challenges, and the struggles that made us appreciate the good things that have happened in our lives.

The Bible says, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Corinthians 4:17 (NIV)

We must remember that our Heavenly Father is the Master Artist and our life, yielded to Him, is the canvass. Only He knows the right combination of sunlight and shadows with which to transform our ordinary life into an extraordinary thing of incredible beauty and value.

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By Rebecca Grice. Copyright © 2011 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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