Shadow Mover by Beth Coulton

I sat in the chair, my heart heavy with concern over relationships that needed mending and hearts that needed healing.  I was praying but I felt as if my words were only audible to my ears.

I’m not usually in the habit of testing God, but I let my Bible fall open to wherever it wanted and asked God to show me something that would give me hope, that would give me truth to cling to.  For the first time, I read this passage –

Isaiah answered, “This is the Lord’s sign to you that the Lord will do what he has promised: Shall the shadow go forward ten steps, or shall it go back ten steps?”

“It is a simple matter for the shadow to go forward ten steps,” said Hezekiah. “Rather, have it go back ten steps.”   Then the prophet Isaiah called on the Lord, and the Lord made the shadow go back the ten steps it had gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.

A shadow going backwards? What a miracle that would be; like something right out of Tales from the Supernatural.   It was the opposite of what should have naturally happened.

We all know it’s easy for the shadow to go forward.  Piece of cake.  Normal everyday occurrence.  And to be honest, that’s how I’d prefer all my problems be solved.  I’d like my difficulties to work out in the midst of ordinary, daily activity that doesn’t take me out of my way or make me late.  I’d rather not have to do anything special on my part in order to see God work or move.  I just want to live my life and assume that He’ll show up, fix everything and on we go.

It’s simpler that way (for me).
But for a shadow to go backwards?
That takes patience and effort.
That means I’ll have to stop what I’m doing and look specifically for God.
And that was exactly what I needed to do.

I asked God to be my shadow mover that day.   I had no idea at the time what that was going to look like or what I even meant when I said it.  But since I’d already tested God a little and hadn’t been struck by lightning (yet), I figured I should keep driving right through that open door and ask Him for just a wee bit more while I was at it.

I’m glad I did because He showed up big time.  Not only did He move the shadow, but He knocked down walls and healed hearts along the way.  It was like a 3-for-1 sale in the miracle aisle.

I learned that day that God is my shadow mover.  He doesn’t ask me to do the extraordinary, only look for it and give Him the credit.

Simple enough, even for me.

Beth Coulton is a wife, mom, sister, writer and photographer who loves Jesus, laughter and chocolate.  With three young adult children, one husband and a large golden retriever (her furry fourth child), there is usually more than enough happening to keep her from getting writer’s block.  She blogs about all that and more at



  1. I’ve never heard that story before! Great devotion! Thanks for sharing here Beth. I love the idea of God moving a shadow backwards 10 steps. Awesome!

  2. I love this! That is an amazing verse, and what a blessing that God provided for you so richly that day! Thank you for sharing this post, it was just what I needed today.
    Bright blessings, Shanyn (Strawberry Roan)

    • Shanyn- I’m so glad it was just what you needed today. A friend of mine called me this morning after reading the post and said, “Ok, I need a shadow moved today!” Maybe the phrase will catch on! Blessings to you.

  3. Beth, this is a great story and new to me too! I love when you ask God to reveal something to you and He goes above and beyond your expectations! Thanks for sharing this with all of us!

  4. Beth, thank you for the encouraging words! As some one who needs some shadows moved I look forward to what God has in store!!!!

  5. Confirmation of earlier thoughts. Thx!

  6. This is absolutely beautiful! I know God plays a big part in this kind of writing but you have a real talent also. I hope to someday, see a devotional written by you.:0)

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