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? Perhaps it’s seeing 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.
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 a Victory 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, if you will. Living in a world, however, where thousands of years of human history shout an opposite reality, hope tends to gets smothered and the glory veiled.
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 we have to learn not to confuse is God’s heart with everything else that works against the glory for which we were originally designed. 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. In other words, God’s heart is to restore – to restore things back to his original purpose and to their original glory. Growing in Christ is a process where our original glory is being restored, “from glory to glory”.
Listen to these words from Marianne Williamson, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
“Christ in you, the hope of glory”