Over the past several weeks, I have been thinking of you. I have kept you in prayer as you have been preparing sermons and Bible studies, preaching and teaching, sharing the news of God’s love, and caring for the people God has given you to love and serve.
As I have prayed for you, I have been reminded of a conversation Moses had with God. In Exodus 33, Moses pleads with God for help. Moses says, “You have been telling me ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us?”
God answers, “My presence will go with you…I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”
It is then that Moses says, “Show me your glory” (Exodus 33:12-18). I find it interesting that of all the things for which Moses could ask, he asks to see God’s glory.
Show Me Your Glory
As I have prayed for you, I have been asking God to show you and me God’s glory. I think of it this way, we become more who God created us to be when we seek God’s presence. I have discovered that when my deepest desire is to become God-focused, I enter a deeper relationship with God. When I become God-focused, I become less me focused.
So, I have been praying to see God’s glory. I know that you are facing challenges. You are in ministry in a broken and hurting world, surrounded by a self-centered society. You work with people, some saved by grace; others fueled by narcissism. Many of them, including you and me, are motivated by both.
What I need is what Moses needed. I need a glimpse of God’s presence in the midst of my work. Such a sighting could change my attitude and shape my ministry. So, I have been praying for you to see God in the middle of your work. Recognizing God in the midst of your daily routine could make a significant difference in your life and ministry.
It’s Not About Me
Max Lucado, in his book It’s Not About Me, tells the following story:
“My father and I sit side by side in a chapel. We both wear our only suits. The shirt collar rubs my neck; the pew feels hard to my bottom; the sight of my dead uncle leaves us all silent. This is my first funeral. My nine years of life have not prepared me for death. What I see unnerves me. Aunts, typically jovial and talkative, weep loudly. Uncles, commonly quick with a word and joke, stare wide-eyed at the casket. And Buck, my big uncle with meaty hands, big belly, and booming voice, lies whitish and waxy in the coffin.
I remember my palms moistening and my heart bouncing in my chest like tennis sneakers in a clothes dryer. Fear had me in her talons. What other emotion could I feel? Where do I look? The weeping ladies frighten me. Glassy-eyed men puzzle me. My dead uncle spooks me. But then I look up. I see my father.
He turns his face toward me and smiles softly. “It’s okay, son,” he assures, laying a large hand on my leg. Somehow, I know it is. Why it is, I don’t know. My family still wails. Uncle Buck is still dead. But if Dad, in the midst of it all, says it’s okay, then that’s enough. At that moment I realized something. I could look around and find fear, or look at my father.
At that moment I realized something. I could look around and find fear, or look at my father and find faith. I chose my father’s face…”
A Prayer For You
My prayer for you and for me is that we will see God’s presence in the lives of our families, in the relationships with our colleagues, in friends in the congregation, in the eyes of the children in the neighborhood school, and in the interaction with those whom you serve through feeding ministries and sharing opportunities. My prayer is that your deepest desire will be to see God.
Just as a reminder, if you having trouble seeing God or recognizing God’s presence, start with Jesus.
“O God, show us your glory!”