This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5.
Before the fall of Adam, not a cloud rested on the mind of our first parents to obscure their clear perception of the divine character of God. They were perfectly conformed to the will of God. A beautiful light, the light of God, surrounded them. Nature was their lesson book. The Lord instructed them in regard to the natural world and then left with them this open book that they might behold beauty in every object upon which their eyes should rest. The Lord visited the holy pair, and instructed them through the works of His hands.
The beauties of nature are an expression of the love of God for human intelligences, and in the Garden of Eden the existence of God was demonstrated in the objects of nature that surrounded our first parents. Every tree planted in the Garden spoke to them, saying that the invisible things of God were clearly seen, being understood by the things which were made, even His eternal power and Godhead.
But while thus God could be discerned in nature, this affords no solid argument in favor of a perfect knowledge of God being revealed in nature to Adam and his posterity after the Fall. Nature could convey her lessons to man in his innocence, but sin and transgression brought a blight upon nature, and intervened between nature and nature’s God. Had man never disobeyed his Creator, had he remained in his state of perfect rectitude, he could have understood and known God. But when man disobeyed God, he gave evidence that he believed the words of an apostate rather than the words of God….
Adam and Eve listened to the voice of the tempter, and sinned against God. The light, the garments of heavenly innocence, departed from these tried, deceived souls, and in parting with the garments of innocence, they drew about them the dark robes of ignorance of God. The clear and perfect light of innocence, which had hitherto surrounded them, had lightened everything which they approached; but deprived of that heavenly light, the posterity of Adam could no longer trace the character of God in His created works.
Therefore, after the Fall, nature was not the only teacher of man. In order that the world might not remain in darkness, in eternal, spiritual night, the God of nature must meet man in Jesus Christ. The Son of God came to the world as a revelation of the Father. He was “the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”—Manuscript 86, July 3, 1898, “Notes of the Week of Prayer.”
The Upward Look p. 198
—-I am Going to the Dentist to have 2 difficult teeth pulled this am. Please Pray for me! I do not cope well with Dentist’s! Connie
—-I was in remission just found out the cancer started growing again. Please pray. Lena
—–Our family needs prayer. My 13 year old granddaughter tried to commit suicide. I am 1900 miles away from her. Pamela
—-Please pray that Maddie will be found. Her car, keys, and phone were found but she has disappeared. Melissa
My great-grandmother had a difficult life full of sadness and regret. One thing brought her much joy, however. She painted the most beautiful oil paintings. One day, a professional artist happened to visit her and viewed her work. The possibility of being discovered thrilled her. As she showed him her best paintings, she noticed that he was frowning a little. Disappointment filled her as she realized that he did not like her work. She had tried to make the paintings as perfect as she could, yet this man was frowning as he examined her paintings.
At last, he exclaimed, “I know what is missing! Shadows! Madam, you have forgotten to add shadows. Your paintings are very good, but without shadows, your landscapes are flat and lifeless.”
Just as my great-grandmother’s paintings lacked the depth that shadows bring to a picture, so shadows bring out the depth in our life. The shadows of life develop our character and keep us from becoming self-centered and lacking in spirituality. Paul speaks of the necessity of these shadows in our life, “despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” Heb 12:5-11
Moreover, the Great Master Artist allows these “shadows” to come into our life’s “painting” to draw us to Himself. They get our attention when we are in danger of straying off from the path the leads to Heaven. He orders our steps as we cry unto our Only Helper. As, in our distress, we turn to His Holy Word for comfort and advice, He holds our hand and guides us with His counsel. “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” “Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour.” Isa 30:21; 43:1-3
When we are feeling overwhelmed with the trials of this life, we can claim the promise, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” 1 Cor 10:13 James tells us, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting [lacking] nothing. Peter adds, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” “Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 4:6,7;1:6,7
May we cling to the Loving Master Artist no matter what shadows He is “painting” in our life. May we exclaim as did Paul, “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” 2 Cor 1:3,4 May we allow Him to have complete control being diligent that we may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless is my prayer.