In the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in his quiver. (Isaiah 49: 2)
“In the shadow”— each of us must go there sometimes. The glare of the sunlight is too bright, and our eyes become injured. Soon they are unable to discern the subtle shades of color or appreciate neutral tints, such as the shadowed sickroom, the shadowed house of grief, or the shadowed life where the sunlight has departed.
But fear not! It is the shadow of God’s hand. He is leading you, and there are lessons that can be learned only where He leads.
The photograph of His face can only be developed in the dark room. But do not assume that He has pushed you aside. You are still “in his quiver.” He has not thrown you away as something worthless.
He is only keeping you nearby till the moment comes when He can send you quickly and confidently on some mission that will bring Him glory. O shadowed, isolated one, remember how closely the quiver is tied to the warrior. It is always within easy reach of his hand and jealously protected.
~from Christ in Isaiah, by F. B. Meyer
In some realms of nature, shadows or darkness are the places of greatest growth. The beautiful Indian corn never grows more rapidly than in the darkness of a warm summer night. The sun withers and curls the leaves in the scorching light of noon, but once a cloud hides the sun, they quickly unfold. The shadows provide a service that the sunlight does not. The starry beauty of the sky cannot be seen at its peak until the shadows of night slip over the sky. Lands with fog, clouds, and shade are lush with greenery. And there are beautiful flowers that bloom in the shade that will never bloom in the sun. Florists now have their evening primrose as well as their morning glory. The evening primrose will not open in the noonday sun but only reveals its beauty as the shadows of the evening grow longer.
If all of life were sunshine,
Our face would long to gain
And feel once more upon it
The cooling splash of rain.
~Henry Jackson Van Dyke
Cowman, L. B. E.; Reimann, Jim (2008-09-09). Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (pp. 58-59). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.