Billy Graham tells the story of Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse who was an American Presbyterian clergyman. His first wife died from cancer while still in her thirties. At the time, all his children were under the age of twelve. He had such victory over his grief that he decided to preach the funeral sermon himself.
While en route to the funeral, they were overtaken by a large truck, which as it passed by them, cast a large shadow over their car. He asked on of his children, “Would you rather be run over by that truck or by its shadow?”
“By the shadow, of course!” replied the twelve-year-old daughter. “A shadow can’t hurt you”
With that answer, Dr. Barnhouse said to his three motherless children, Your mother been overrun not by death, but by the shadow of death.” At the funeral he spoke on Psalm 23: Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me.
Our lives here on earth are but a shadow of what is to come. The past and the present exist to prepare us for what God intended–for us to dwell with Him forever. For we are sojourners before You, and tenants, as all our fathers were; our days on the earth are like a shadow, ... (1 Chronicles 29:15) For we are only of yesterday and know nothing, Because our days on earth are as a shadow. (Job 8:9)
I Corinthians 13:12 says, Now we see things imperfectly, like shadowy reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. What now seems so confusing and imperfect, will become perfectly clear and clearly perfect.