Shadowlands. It’s a word that came to my mind when I saw this view early one morning. I immediately pulled off the highway to a rest area, set up my tripod, and captured this view. I wanted to write about the thought that came to my mind, a story of the shadowlands. One of the things I love about photography is the fact that every photo does indeed tell a story. Shadowlands was the title of a movie and a stage play about the relationship of C.S. Lewis with his wife, Joy Davidman. She died of cancer after only four short years of marriage. Shadowlands also was a term used by C.S. Lewis in his book, The Last Battle, where he seems to suggest that our life on earth is a shadowland, and real life, true life, is experienced in heaven. That idea was followed up in Lewis’ book, The Great Divorce, where heaven is seen as real reality.

But the word shadowlands carries a bit of a different kind of meaning for me. We always need to remember the fact that “now we see a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12). All that seems so present and real is temporal. The temporal is fading away, a shadowland of sorts, and will someday give way to the eternal, those things that last forever. Paul explains it this way: “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).

I am in the shadowlands in the sense that off in the distance, by faith, through God and His Word, I can see the eternal truths – God, heaven, everlasting life, an unfading inheritance – all that is mine forever. And I can see it – just as I can see the outlines of those beautiful mountains off in the distance. And my eyes are fixed there, though I am in this temporal world, living for the Lord, in His power, and for His glory. Spurgeon encourages us to “walk lightly in the world and hold it with a loose grip.” I love that.

Spurgeon also writes:

Forward lies the crown, and onward is the goal. Whether it be for hope, for joy, for consolation, or for the inspiring of our love, the future must, after all, be the grand object of the eye of faith. Looking into the future we see sin cast out, the body of sin and death destroyed, the soul made perfect, and fit to be a partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light. Looking further yet, the believer’s enlightened eye can see death’s river passed, the gloomy stream forded, and the hills of light attained on which standeth the celestial city; he seeth himself enter within the pearly gates, hailed as more than conqueror, crowned by the hand of Christ, embraced in the arms of Jesus, glorified with him, and made to sit together with him on his throne, even as he has overcome and has sat down with the Father on his throne. The thought of this future may well relieve the darkness of the past and the gloom of the present. The joys of heaven will surely compensate for the sorrows of earth.
Charles Spurgeon

So if you sense a certain pressure of trial, storms, grief, or loss, be encouraged that “our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:17). Look to your reward, beyond the shadowlands of this life, to the day when you will be face to face, in the light and everlasting glory of heaven, where you are at home forever with your Lord. And in the present, may you grow in the grace and knowledge of your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).

♥ Blessings and Grace to You!


myPhotoWalk Technical

  • Title: Shadow Hills
  •   Request This Image > SmugMug Image Request
  • Description: Mountain range silhouette against morning sky in Blythe, CA
  • Creator: Catherine Martin
  • Date Created: 08/11/13
  • Camera: Nikon D7000, 18-105mm lens
  • Photoshoot: Driving along the highway, Blythe, CA.
  • Post-Processing: Adobe Photoshop, Topaz, Viveza
  • Copyright ©2017 Catherine Martin — myPhotoWalk™ — Quiet Time Ministries. All Rights Reserved.
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