Sarah’s Shadows Turns into Light
Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.~John 8:12
During a lovely spring picnic, I realized a spiritual truth as Sarah’s shadows turned into light.
The late spring day dawned—perfect for a leisurely picnic. My husband and I walked the forested trail full of dappled sunlight to find just the right spot. And there it was. Off the trail and up a grassy sun-drenched slope, a tabletop rock awaited us, tucked into the hills of western North Carolina. We sat on top of the world and gazed at the light and shadows playing in the valley. When my husband returned to the car, I continued to soak up the sunbeams in our quiet hideaway.
Eventually, I walked a few steps to the trail’s head and stared intently. Far down the trail, I saw him in the shadows of a tall oak tree. But when he stepped into the sunlight and out of the shadows, I recognized his bear-like walk and the tilt of his head. As I smiled and waved, a spiritual truth occurred to me. I was reminded of a story in Genesis in which Sarah’s shadows turned into light.
Have you ever tried to identify someone in the shadows? Sarah’s story, included in Genesis 12-23, reminds me how difficult it is to recognize people’s most prominent traits in the dark. She began in the sunlight of obedience by following her husband’s God as they departed from Ur and headed toward Canaan. However, her barrenness dimmed her happiness. She knew that God promised Abraham multiple descendants, but her age clouded that truth. She searched for the solution.
Back in Ur, the code of Hammurabi ruled that she could give a servant to her husband and claim the resulting children. When Hagar handed Sarah her baby named Ishmael, shame covered Sarah’s gloomy soul as she realized that barrenness was her burden, not Abraham’s. She lived in the shadows of self-imposed sadness for fourteen years. Finally, at 99 years, God fulfilled His promise to Sarah, and she exulted in Isaac nestling in her arms. The sunlight of love and happiness flooded her soul, and she laughed.
Sarah died when Isaac was thirty-seven years old. But her story did not end. She reflected the light of God’s truths in Romans and became His symbol of spiritual freedom in Galatians. Then, about two thousand years later, in Hebrews 11:11, God put an epitaph on her tomb.
Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.~Hebrews 11:11
Standing in the full sunshine of God’s grace, every nuance of Sarah’s faith is clearly outlined. Her footsteps echo through Hebrew’s Hall of Faith as she takes her place among other heroes and heroines. As I gazed at the statue of Sarah in the Hall of Faith, gleaming softly in the luminescent light, she also took her place in my heart as a woman of faith. She seemed to smile at me, her own daughter of faith.
We rest on the solid rock, feasting on picnic fare. We also bask in the sunlight that warms our pale winter skin. Watching the interplay of light and shadow in the valley below, I recognized Sarah’s rock-solid faith. Her life, like the valley spread before us, is full of light and shadow. But God eclipsed her clouds with the brilliant sunlight of His radiant amazing grace and granted her the status of faith. I feel the joy of our own sun-filled day, and I rejoice that God told me a story of faith to light my way when Sarah’s shadows turned into light.
Describe a time when you felt the warmth of Jesus’ love as He lit your world.
Dear Lord, please help me to recognize how you light my daily path. Lead me from shadow into your sunshine. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Copyright 2023: Sarah’s Shadows Turn into Light: Marlene Houk: All Rights Reserved