Let's go back to the analogy of my brother and his camera. Suppose he arrives at a wedding, has everything planned, arranged, just so. He takes out his camera but it refuses to work. My brother, being the craftsman in this instance, probably has a back-up camera. He can use the back-up, but it isn’t his first preference. The results will probably be more than acceptable to the bride, who might not know about the substitution of the camera. But he will know. He will know that these pictures could have been better, or could have been taken more easily with the tool of first choice.
And regardless of the camera used, who is the craftsman: my brother or the camera? Would that same camera have created the same results in my unskilled hands? NO! No matter what God uses us for, it is not for our glory. It is for His. He can use any tool He wants for any job he wants. But not every tool is suitable for every job. He could use an unsuitable tool if He chose, but think about this: It might break the tool. My brother could take his studio camera out to sea and try to take underwater shots with it, but it would ruin that very expensive tool to try to use it for something that it isn’t suited for. There are other tools made for that purpose.
I found 2 devotions along this line in a book put together by Jean Watson: In God’s Presence: daily devotions with J. I. Packer.
So, if we are God's tools, what work are we supposed to be helping in? As Christians, it is our job to tell the “truth,” that real truth that is a Person, wherever we are. But we need to keep in mind “… that while it is our responsibility to proclaim salvation, it is God who saves. It is He who brings men and women under the sound of the gospel to faith in Christ. Our evangelistic work is the instrument that He uses for this purpose, but the power that saves is not the instrument: it is in the hand of the One who uses the instrument.” (from May 19)
Sometimes we may not even recognize that we are in the shadow of His hand. We sense a gloominess around us that makes us restless. We are unsettled and feel that something needs to change. That feeling might just be God shaping us to be the tool in His hand. “The hand of God is a very big one and when it’s stretched over you, even with a purpose of protection, it may look and feel like a great black cloud, hiding the sun. …The last word of wisdom and pointer to joy in this world is the realization that here God is preparing us for another world where his light will shine on us as it never did in this one.” (from September 28)
Well, that's it. Those are all the shadows studies I have. Working on this study has made me realize something. Whether or not I said anything that spoke to you, I learned some things that spoke to me. I hope I have passed some of them on. I found some things that excited me and some things that challenged me. Mostly, I found things that gave purpose to my quiet time. Think about the things that move you, things that you are interested in. If you read something that sparks your interest, make a note of it. Later, look into it. The Bible is a BIG book. And chances are, if something is mentioned once, that theme is mentioned again and probably again. Make notes in your journal or in your bible. If you are involved in a home bible study, you could suggest your topic. You don’t have to teach the topic. If you are moved to dig into God’s Word, it is for a purpose. God’s Word will not return void. Someone, maybe you, maybe someone you know, has a need for what you are learning.