Thursday, October 18, 2012
Today’s Topic: Do You Believe?
Today’s Text: John 11:40 (ESV) Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?”
As I return to my office this morning from a three day trip to the Bayou of Louisiana, I am still struck with the words of Jesus that Pastor Jerry shared at the funeral service for his wife Cindy. “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?”
As Jerry shared the story of Cindy’s death with me during one of our quiet times together, he told me how after the paramedics had ceased their efforts to revive her they left the room to give him some alone time with her. He carefully covered her body, and then laid down on the floor beside her and held her, stroking the cool arms and cheeks that had been warmed by life just moments before. He talked to her, and said his final goodbyes, heard not by the ears beside him but by the soul now in the presence of Jesus.
After thirty minutes or so, the coroner arrived, and said he had some questions to ask. Before he could begin, Jerry started to share with him the story of Cindy’s life and the reality of her incredible spirit of grace and love. He spoke specifically about the forgiveness she displayed for his many mistakes, blunders, and sins.
When Jerry finished praising and honoring his wife, the coroner simply filled out his paper work and told Jerry that he must go home. He explained that earlier that day he had been involved in an argument with his wife and they had not talked all day. She was mad, and so was he. He said he had to go home right away and make it right. Even at the moment of her death Cindy’s life was ministering to others. Even in death, God’s glory was being revealed.
“Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?”
We tend to believe that the trouble we are experiencing right now is ours to handle and ours to resolve. We are fixers. We want the solution now, for we do not know how nor do we desire to know how to endure until God’s glory is seen. We believe that God’s glory is displayed in temporal blessings brought on by solutions, when in fact God’s greatest glory is displayed in resurrection which necessitates death. God’s glory is not revealed when there is still plenty of rope left, but only when we reach the end of it. God’s glory is not revealed when we can say we are satisfied, but when God says His will has been accomplished.
We want immediate change, but God says our strength is renewed in waiting. We want the removal of stress, when God desires to teach us perseverance. We ask for peace, but do not pray for the faith required to trust God’s outcome that produces God’s glory. We ask for blessing without obedience. We ask for things to be done rather than ask for a deeper intimacy with the One who does all things according to His purpose for His glory. We are conditioned for results, when God is committed to relationship.
Reflect on that today – we are conditioned for results when God is committed to relationship. Begin to discover the incredible blessing of knowing God rather than just watching God work. Jesus said in John 17:3 “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” It is in the knowledge of God – defined in Scripture as the personal experience of His eternal presence in your life – that we discover the glory of God. Such knowledge comes only by belief.
We want solutions: God wants trust. We choose to hurry our way through the valleys of despair and death: God chooses to comfort us while in them so we begin to see them only as shadows. We choose to get things done and take control: God lets us do it until we turn in humble confession of our inadequacies and let Him do it. But He may not solve it right away, because the lessons of relationship have to be learned before the class is dismissed.
Believe Jesus. Trust Him. He promises that we will see the glory of God in the end. Let His end be the only end you pursue.