Glory Restored

Golden Clouds

Photo by Monica Beck

Longings of Our Heart

What do you long for, wish and hope for? What do you dream about and desire for your life? How about for the ones you love and the world at large? When you take the time to reflect on the things that are most important to you, what kinds of things occupy your mind? Is it to be beautiful or handsome, strong and courageous, bright and insightful, at peace with yourself and others, or perhaps financially prosperous and successful? Is it to see your children flourishing in every area of their lives and to see your marriage full of richness, love, romance and sweet friendship? It could be to see the world at peace, where all people regardless of race, color, nationality, or social status are treating one another with honor, respect, and dignity? The list could well be endless. What would be on your list?

My personal list includes things like being confident, courageous and at peace with who I am. I imagine being in great physical condition, about being wise and insightful. I daydream about being independently wealthy and able to give and spend money in any way I may choose. I also reflect and imagine what it would be like to be really close to God, to live my life in a manner that reflects one who knows and walks intimately with him. I also dream about owning an Indian motorcycle, looking cool in riding glasses and full leather, enjoying the open road. What do these thoughts, dreams, and desires reveal about us?

I believe most people entertain, even if only seldom, dreams and aspirations which reflect, though dimly, a glory we were originally intended for. In other words, much of what we deeply and inwardly long for arises from a very legitimate source, one that is directly connected with our original destiny, our original glory. However, thousands of years of human history, as well as much of our own personal history, shouts an opposite reality. In this reality hope tends to get smothered and our glory veiled. How do we reconcile our current state with the glory originally designed by God for us to walk in?

The Ministry of Jesus

There’s an amazing verse in the Old Testament which prophetically speaks of something the coming Messiah, Jesus, would not do, while at the same time implicitly revealing what he would do.  It is found in Isaiah 42:3 and it reads, “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.”

Have you ever felt like a bruised reed or a smoldering wick – like life has turned you every which way just short of stomping you in the ground and putting your lights out?  I have. What I must learn or remember in those times is to not confuse God’s heart with everything else intended to work against the glory for which I was originally designed. Life on this planet has a way of bruising our soul and dimming the light within us. But God has provided just the right solution for us.

In contrast to breaking, God’s heart is to mend. In contrast to snuffing out, God’s heart is to gently fan back into a flame. Jesus was anointed to preach good news to the poor, to bind up the brokenhearted, proclaim freedom to the captives, release from darkness the prisoners, and proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. He came to comfort all who mourn, provide for those who grieve, to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. And the result? The poor, the brokenhearted, the captives, the prisoners, those who mourn, those who grieve and despair, these very ones become oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor! (Isa. 61:1-3)

God’s heart is to restore – to restore all things back to his original purpose and to their original glory. Our journey in Christ is a process where our original glory is being restored, with ever-increasing glory. And that process entails God taking all those things designed to do me harm and bringing forth a greater measure of his glory in my life.

“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Cor. 3:18

 “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Cor. 4:17

 “Christ in you, the hope of glory” Col. 1:27b

 “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.” Isa. 60:1

 For further reflection:

What do you desire, envision, and dream about for your life?

What do these dreams and desires say to you about the glory God designed for you?

“Jesus, I have been placed in you and you are in me. What does your glory in me look like?”