We are learning that when God answers our cries for help, He often does so through other members of His Body on earth. The ‘Team Bethany’ mentioned in Heartbreakingly Beautiful is still alive and well today! It looks a little different, but most of the precious family and friends God gathered around us during Beth’s illness continue to support us in various ways as we grieve and adjust. The Lord continues to bless us with godly people who gather us close to their hearts – embracing, inspiring, comforting, nurturing and helping us to rebuild from the ruins. We are grateful and humbled by the help we continue to receive.
Last week, we took a look at the glory of God as manifested through His creation. This week I encourage us to think about His reflected glory through His redeemed children. The merciful characteristics of God are intended to be shown through His people – through their spiritual gifts, through their designed natural talents and by the display of ‘The Fruit of the Spirit’, as listed in Galatians 5:22 … “LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, SELF-CONTROL.” There is no doubt about it friends – God’s intention all along has been to display His glory through us – in and through our imperfections, we are made to BE Glorious!
What are some things that can stop us from being glorious in our reflection of God to others? There are some obvious areas in my life that can block the rays of God’s glory from being recognizable to others. (Unbelief, bitterness, pride, busyness and laziness are just a few that immediately come to mind!) But I take encouragement again from looking at the story of Moses in Exodus 34. Do you remember that Moses’ face literally shone with the glory of God? In fact, Moses’ face was so glorious that he had to wear a veil to cover it. His face was just too bright for others to look upon! All this came about through the process of Moses spending considerable time with God (forty days and nights in fact!) Now there is a great challenge for any ‘would-be-glorious-God-reflector’!
It is true that we will probably never literally shine with the glory of God like Moses did, but I think the life of Jesus models us best how we can shine this glory. Like Moses, Jesus spent considerable time with His Father, soaking in His glorious presence. Indeed Jesus’ whole life and resurrection were glorious reflectors of the living God. Yet the greatest display of God’s glory was broadcast to the world from the pain and suffering of a cruel Roman cross.
In John 17, Jesus tells us that the way the world will know the glorious love of God is by the love we show one another. Just as Jesus’ most magnificent demonstration of God’s glory and love was manifested on the cross, so too the greatest display of this glory of God will be through our crucified, sacrificial love-filled lives (Galatians 2:20 & 1 John 4:12). How I thank God for those who continue to pour out His love and glory to us as they help us carry the burden of our cross. This is glory! The pain-filled, gut-wrenching, hope-filled glory of God wrapped in flesh for me to witness first hand!
Friends, it doesn’t end here with the receiving of this glorious sacrificial love in our pain. This kind of glory is for the sharing. As we travel along, we have now become part of other support teams – sharing the load and encouraging others in their painful journeys. You will find that when you are cheering someone else on to finish the race well and run for The Prize, your pain is more bearable because it is shared and can indeed be used to reflect facets of God’s awesome character like no one else can! To BE Glorious in this life is our destiny in Christ – so let us start loving like He does, cheering on our teammates and shine!
A song to encourage you:
Everything Glorious by David Crowder Band
A book to build you up:
Why a Suffering World Makes Sense by Chris Tiegreen