Last week I took my usual morning walk in my neighborhood. I came across a yard with two large trees next to the road in front of this home. I noticed under the trees there was nothing but dirt. Outside of the shade of the trees the grass looked good and healthy. Why was the grass so healthy outside of the shade while under the trees no grass at all?
In research, I came across this bit of information from Hillary Thompson where she dealt with this question, “Why is it Hard to Grow Grass in Shade?”
“All plants have to have light to survive. If you remember back to your fifth grade science class, I'm sure your teacher talked to you about photosynthesis. It's the process where plants take light energy from the sun, and with the building blocks of atoms and molecules around them, turn them into sugars and carbohydrates. That energy that they create, which they convert from sunlight into sugars and carbohydrates, that's what fuels all of life.
Anytime you put any plant into the shade, you're putting it on a diet. You can put fertilizer out there in huge quantities, but if the plant's not able to get the light, then it's not able to feed. It's not able to convert that into energy via photosynthesis.”
The key to health and growth is exposure to the light. What is true of nature is true of our relationship with God. We cannot live under the shade without exposure to the light of God’s Son. Do you continue to struggle with the same temptations and sins? Do you see a lack of growth in areas of your life that are under the shade?
The shade represents those areas of our life that we keep secret. No one else may know our secret struggles, but we do. These areas of struggle and defeat have not changed over time. As long as they remain under the shade of darkness and secrecy, no change will take place.
Why don’t we change? Why is that area the same with no growth or development? The shade is keeping the light from shining on us. We must have the light shine on every area of our life. Church pastors and leaders are the best at keeping areas of their life under the shade. Most have no safe place or person to go to where they can get out from under the shade.
We need others to come into our life who will lead us away from the shade and into the light. We were never meant to live in isolation. One familiar statement from Recovery ministry, “You are as sick as your secrets.” We are not healthy in the shade. The Scriptures make this so clear in I John 1:5-7:
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
Living outside of the shadows means we open ourselves up to the light. How do we do get out from under the shadow? It means having fellowship with one another. The more we are with others in fellowship, the more we are exposing ourselves to the light of God’s healing Son.
Our ministry here at Still Waters Renewal provides a time away for you to experience life outside of the shadows. A time to be loved, listened to and encouraged in your journey as a follower of Jesus. When we are out from under the shadows, we can experience new growth as God works in and through us.
We have one retreat left in October this year. Space is limited at this point so sign up today. We would love to have you come.