Lessons From Your Shadow

“My days are like a shadow that lengthens, And I wither away like grass. But You, O LORD, shall endure forever, And the remembrance of Your name to all generations.”

Psalm 102:11-12

I appreciate a good word picture and in Psalm 102 the view the psalmist is seeing isn’t that he is living longer but actually that our lifespan is getting shorter as each day passes as he watches his shadow stretch across the landscape. As King David watches his shadow in the late afternoon he is reminded of just how small he is and how great God is.

As I read psalm 102 I was reminded of when our dog Chloe was just a puppy and was playing out in the backyard of our home. My wife turned on the flood lights so Chloe could see better as it was pitch black, when suddenly Chloe saw her shadow against the back wall. She froze solid in fear and would not move as the dog she saw in the shadow appeared to be much larger than her, not realizing the whole time it was her own shadow.

Oh how funny it was to watch her take step after step and to watch the shadow mimic her every move and cause her to ultimately lay down in fear of her own shadow, tucking her tail and then running back into the house to find safety.  

We need to remember that we are small and our God is big and that time for us this side of heaven is very limited. So short is the span of our life the bible says our lives are like a vapor, here today and gone tomorrow.

Don’t let the enormity of life discourage you as you set out to live life to the fullest today. Heed Jesus words in Matthew 6:34, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Learn to take life one day at a time is what Jesus is communicating.

A good friend and fellow pastor sent me a text message to let me know that he had met his New Year resolution for the year and that it was still only March! He said he had wanted to lose five pounds this year. He was so happy and I congratulated him the next time I saw him. I said kiddingly, “way to go, aim low and hit it every time”. He said that was exactly his method of success. The more I thought about it, the more it made sense.  

Each of us will accomplish far more today, hit way more goals this year and live with greater daily success if we set little goals each day and then set to accomplish them. While most of the world has already given up on reaching their goals for 2022, my friend is already moving on to other little goals that are motivating him to even greater successes this year.

My friend has learned the secret that, “little’s make Bigs” and you and I can too. It’s like the old saying, “how do you eat an elephant? The answer is, “one bite at a time”.  Maybe you have heard the old saying, “the  journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step.” It’s true! Take that first step today. I read another great motivational quote that said, “Its hard to steer a parked car,” implying you have to put the car in gear to get going!

We don’t have to waste another day! Begin each morning in prayer asking God for a goal, His goal for your life, just for today, and then set out to accomplish it. Then tomorrow when you wake up, get up and pray again, and then set out and do the same thing all over again. What you will find in no time is a string of victories under your belt, littles that the Lord is using to make big advances in your life and in this world for His glory. The key to our motivation is to know the time is short, the shadows are long and the opportunities to glorify God are great!

“For who has despised the day of small things? For these seven rejoice to see The plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. They are the eyes of the LORD, Which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth."

Zechariah 4:10


Michael Osthimer




no categories


no tags