The Shadow is Cast

August 24, 2017 at 12:38 pm

“The heavens are telling the glory of God; they are a marvelous display of His craftsmanship.”

( Psalm 19:1  LAB)

by Debbie Allen

The Dawning of Dusk in Daylight…these poetic words describe the Celestial performance of the century!  They are my own heart’s review of the Eclipse of 2017.  Truly a moving production that, for a few moments, drew the eyes of our nation heavenward, for a closer look into God’s great Theater of Grace! A periwinkle, sky doubled as a stage for what some deemed, “…an elegant dance between the sun and the moon.”

The eclipse in progress, all the preparatory chaos of anxious onlookers ceased; replaced by a unified awe, as the moment of totality (the shadow of the moon overwhelming the sun), arrived.  For a brief time, the extraordinary overwhelmed the ordinary. Dusk enveloped the daylight. Birds stopped singing and crickets began chirping. Instantly, sunny-morning temperatures dropped ten degrees.   For ninety seconds, a hushed audience shared the beauty and grandeur of this silent, yet Divine performance; most not able to articulate the unexpected emotions stirring inside of them.

A group of college students, cheering after the eclipse were asked, “Why does this moment mean so much to you?”

Shrugging his shoulders, one CU student honestly responded, “I don’t know…but, this is awesome!”

Literally hundreds across the nation, jumped before their cell phone screens to take selfies with family or friends standing in front of the eclipse.

The power of association has an irresistible pull on all of us as human beings. I believe God placed a thirst deep inside each of our spirits before we were born. It is this thirst that draws us into a much greater desire… the instinctive longing inside of us to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.

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“For ninety seconds, a hushed audience shared the beauty and grandeur of this silent, yet Divine performance; surprised by the unexpected emotions stirring inside of them.”

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Observing people after the eclipse certainly frames this thought well.  Speechless, yet inspired, one man who was interviewed by the Denver Post put it this way.

“When totality hits you…you almost feel what the ‘ancients’ felt!”

Though this man’s statement fails to capture exactly what the ancients felt; I know of one ‘ancient’ who spilled his feelings in great detail. The Psalmist, King David.  His eyes pointed skyward, David reminds us:

 “The heavens are telling the glory of God; they are a marvelous display of his craftsmanship.  Day and night they keep on telling about God.  Without a sound or word, silent in the skies, their message reaches out to all the world!”  (Psalm 19:1-2 LAB)

Our spirits are asleep in this nation, if after looking up into the heavens, and experiencing the solar eclipse, we still fail to see anything less than “…a marvelous display of God’s craftsmanship and His Glory, silently proclaiming a message that “reaches out to all of us.” A message that can quench the thirst inside of us to be a part of something…no, Someone bigger than ourselves!  The Heart Cries of God are infused in the silences of the eclipse moment.  I could hear His Voice reminding me that,

He is the God who made the world and everything in it…the Lord of heaven and earth.  He Himself gives life and breath to everything, and He satisfies every need.  He created all the nations throughout the whole earth.  He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall and He determined their boundaries.  His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward Him and find Him.  For in Him we live and move and exist.”  (Acts 17:24-28 NLT)

I sensed the pressure of God’s Hand on my shoulder, compelling me to drop to my knees and pray for our nation in the midst of this eclipse. Though NASA deemed this historical event as only “a celestial coincidence”, I sensed it to be more of a celestial warning.  Even the course of its path spanned our nation from sea to shining sea; something that hasn’t occurred in over a hundred years.  As I witnessed the moon’s shadow crossing over the face of the sun, it made me think of another kind of shadow that’s crossing over our land.  The shadow of sin.  This darkness is slowly covering the Face of God…the Light upon Whose promises our nation was founded.  If this Divine Eclipse ever occurs, we will experience darkness like we’ve never known here in America before. When I consider how many immediate changes occurred in our surroundings during the ninety seconds of the celestial eclipse, I can’t imagine the catastrophic changes that will take place if the Light of our nation ever becomes totally eclipsed by the shadow of sin’s deep darkness.

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“His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward Him and find Him.  For in Him we live and move and exist.”  (Acts 17:28)

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      Long after watching the eclipse, my mind’s eye kept envisioning the moon’s shadow making its way across the face of the sun.  Though a beautiful image to ponder, it also brought to mind the eerie words of Chuck Colson, from his book, “Against the Night, Living in the New Dark Ages; published in 1991. Colson wrote this:

“Dark Age” is a strong term. I recognize that.  Yet, in recent years I’ve had a growing sense of storm clouds gathering on the horizon…The forecast is foreboding…We scan the horizon with unease.

We sense that things are winding down, that somehow freedom, justice, and order are slipping away.  Our great civilization may not yet lie in smoldering ruins, but the enemy is within the gates. The times seem to smell of sunset.  Encroaching darkness casts long shadows across every institution in our land…We do face a crisis in Western culture, and it presents the greatest threat to civilization since the barbarians invaded Rome.”

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“The times seem to smell of sunset.  Encroaching darkness casts long shadows across every institution in our land…We do face a crisis in Western culture…”

—Chuck Colson—

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So, my question is this. What are you going to do with the memory of the Eclipse of 2017?    Will you choose to view it through the world’s knowledge and the eyes of NASA, accepting it only as a celestial coincidence; or will you take a seat in God’s Theater of Grace, thrusting your eyes heavenward so your heart may perceive the silent message that’s on display there?  The eclipse is God’s Glory on display over our nation.  A Celestial Warning that brings with it a story of Light and darkness.  But, notice this.  In the end… the Light wins!

This can be our nation’s story, but right now, we live in a land filled with impinging shadows; a nation largely ruled by darkness and the knowledge of man…not the Wisdom of God.  The choices we make as individuals and as a nation will make or break us in God’s Eyes.  His desire for our nation is that “we would seek after Him… find Him,” and realize that the freedom, peace, and hope…the life we’re all seeking, can only be found in God.

As we all endeavor to play-out our roles in our Nation’s story of Light and darkness; may our hearts be flooded with the same passion that filled the heart of the ‘ancient,’ King David.  God looked upon David as a man after His own Heart.   King David trusted in God more than in human power.  David’s prayer for victory in the darkness of battle was always this:

“Some nations boast of power and weaponry, but our boast is in the Lord God.  Those nations will collapse and perish; we will arise to stand firm and sure!”  (Psalm 20:7)

And just like the Total Eclipse of 2017…there’s a night and day difference in the outcome.

HEART TRAPPINGS:

What are you going to do with  the “Total Eclipse 2017” experience?

Will you file it away in your memories under the heading, “NASA: celestial coincidence”?

Or will you take your place in God’s great Theater of Grace and see this Divine dance between the sun

and the moon as  a Celestial Warning to our Nation?

PRAYER:  Father God, Forgive us…forgive our nation for trusting in our power, wealth, technology and man’s knowledge more than we trust in You. This Story of Light and Darkness has eternal significance for us as individuals and as a nation.  Supply us with Your Wisdom and Perspective so we may  see the darkness surrounding us for what it is. Defiance of the God upon Whose Light our great Nation was founded.May we be found faithful in the days ahead as we take David’s prayer for our own:  “Some nations boast of power and weaponry, but our boast is in the Lord God!”  Enable us to rise and stand firm and sure in Jesus Name!”

AMEN