Have you ever noticed how suffering has a way of stripping away the layers of who you think you are, to reveal who you really are inside? Who I am as a man, as a leader, as a provider for my family – a father, husband, grandfather – a contributor to my church, an influencer of others for the kingdom of Christ… All these have changed, some in small ways, others more significantly, through the journey of Leukemia. This is good when it involved surrender to God and being molded in His image. But there is also a certain grieving of the journey from Gal 2:20 and 2 Cor 5:17. It seems we carry so many labels and hold some of these dearly close to us. Some aspects of these need to be stripped away. The remainder all need to be submissive to the one label of God’s child, devoted follower of Jesus.
Lately, I am reflecting on the glory of God filling his temple (2 Chron. 5:14 and many other verses). I think on 1 Cor 3:16 (and others) where we are reminded that we ourselves are the temple of God. It follows of course, that His glory should fill us, that others should see his glory when they observe our lives, filled with his presence.
It is like the story of the little girl who asked her mother, “Is it true that when we ask Jesus into our life that He lives in our heart?” The mother replied, “Well yes dear, that is right.” “And isn’t He the light of the world?” the girl continued. “Yes, that is true,” replied the mom. “Then shouldn’t others see Him shine through us?” the girl asked. Out of the mouth of babes comes a truth for us. Some extent of the glory of God should be revealed through us if His Son lives in us.
This label of glory-filled-holiness is a worthy (and daunting) one to consider. It is our true identity that no one and no circumstance can strip away unless we let it. It is a banner we can only carry by continual surrender to Christ in us, the hope of glory. When He carries this banner others can see Him…in us.
What other identity rivals this one? Let God’s glory shine in and through your day. For the glory of God gives light!