"Moses said, 'Please show me your glory.' And [God] said, 'I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name "The LORD." And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.'" Exodus 33:18-19 (ESV)
When I was a little girl, my mama used to sing this little chorus to help me wake up in the morning: “Rise and shine, and give God the glory, glory …”
I was never an “early bird.” I more often dragged myself out of bed than I jumped up with energy. Mama’s song was a cheerful welcome to a new day. She invited me to start with God’s glory.
I chose the word “glory” as my annual theme word several years ago.That sent me on a treasure hunt through Scripture and everyday life in search of glory. That year, my husband died of cancer at age 40, just four short months after his diagnosis. I was left a widow with three young daughters. I had no idea how God would use that theme of glory to challenge, inspire and lift me during the darkest year of my life.
We talk and sing about it at church and find the word mentioned more than 500 times in Scripture, but what exactly is glory?
If we study the scriptures that mention it, we discover God’s glory is the very essence of who God is, His character. Glory is what sets God apart. It’s the way God reveals Himself to us.
In the book of Exodus, Moses was discovering God’s glory. He wrote this book to help highlight the fulfillment of God’s promises, and through Moses, the Lord revealed His purposes to Israel. Over time, Moses recognized that he didn't want to make decisions or move anywhere without God’s presence. He begged God to show Himself:
“Moses said, ‘Please show me your glory.’ And [God] said, ‘I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name “The LORD.” And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy’” (Exodus 33:18-19).
Most of us are like Moses. We want to feel God’s presence in our chaos, our crises and our casual conversations. We would like to see and experience God’s glory … but we are not sure how to pursue it.
The Hebrew word for “glory” is kabod, meaning someone or something heavy in weight, wealth, abundance, importance or respect. Does that sound like God?
We can experience glimpses of God’s glory all around us, but we have to lift our eyes to notice them and respond.
God always makes Himself known through His Word that comforts us during trials. Sometimes, He may also show His glory through a sense of peace gifted to us while we wait for a diagnosis or a breakthrough in a strained relationship. I’ve tasted His glory in a delectable meal prepared by a friend and seen it in the unique pattern of a snowflake or a baby’s eyelashes, all carefully created by Him.
Friends, let’s not miss the examples of God’s glory right in our midst. Let’s call out the glory we see so that others might experience His presence too.
Dear God, thank You for the beautiful and diverse ways You show us Your glory each day. Help us to pause, notice and respond when we feel Your presence. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
OUR FAVORITE THINGS
Dorina’s multicultural children’s book, Chasing God’s Glory, released on April 11, 2023. The powerful and whimsical picture book strives to help young children who, like the main character, Zayla, want to understand the word “glory” often sung by their parents and pastors to praise the Lord. In this delightfully positive picture book, Zayla follows her mom on a bike-ride adventure to hunt for glory. She learns to experience God’s glory in a multitude of colorful ways.
Subscribe to Dorina’s weekly Glorygram for encouragement as you chase God’s glory down life’s unexpected trails. Follow her on Instagram @DorinaGilmore for daily glimpses of His glory.
FOR DEEPER STUDY
Hebrews 1:1-3a, “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.” (ESV)
Jesus was sent to earth as a physical expression of God’s presence. How have you experienced Jesus as Immanuel, “God with us,” in your own life? Have you seen any glimpses of God’s glory this week? Call them out in the comments.
© 2023 by Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young. All rights reserved.
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