I have been making my way through the New Testament and am currently in 2 Corinthians. I love Paul. He’s blunt without being brutal and encouraging even when he has no physical reason to be encouraged. He’s real, open, honest, and a little crazy.
I was reading through chapter three this morning and came across something that gave me a hope and excitement about the future that I have really been praying for. Starting in verse nine, he is recalling that during the time of Moses, the law, which was death, was considered glorious because it was from God. But now, the law has been abolished, and grace, which is life, has replaced it.
In verse ten he says,
“…What once had glory has come to have no glory because of the glory that surpasses it (emphasis mine). For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, how much more will what is permanent have glory.” (ESV)
As you know, my internship at Compassion has ended and I am still here (praise the Lord) working as a temp in hopes of being hired on full time. The internship was to me, very glorious. It was a six week period of my life filled with the realization of God’s goodness, provision, and sovereignty in ways that I had not seen or known.
While I still work here and am grateful to do so, there is a strange sense of reality and life that has suddenly set in. I have recently moved into my first apartment, am paying my own bills, and this feeling of independence that I have longed for and strived to attain is now creating in me a greater desire to be dependent again.
I think that’s the point. Not to say that everything you thought you wanted in life will disappoint, but those things that we counted as glorious will, in fact, pale in comparison to what the Lord has prepared for those who love Him. As He progressively sanctifies us and makes us more like Himself, the greatness of the former glories will dim and the places that He will take us in the future will be even more glorious.
The thing about “glories” is that they come in between waves of seeming stillness. For example, I recently applied for a waitressing position at PF Chang’s. I am one of only two people I know that loves to serve at restaurants. Since I’m new to the area, I thought it would be a great way to stay busy, meet people, and earn a little extra money. I have quite a bit of experience and felt confident that when I walked in a few weeks ago, I would be training by the end of the week.
Two weeks and four interviews later, Corporate has put the restaurant on a “hiring freeze” because September is their slowest month. Bad timing. Stillness.
I have also continued applying at Compassion for any and every position for which I qualify. The response … *crickets chirping* Silence. Stillness. And so I continue to wait.
As I am waiting, I am working on a number of different assignments. For starters, I was asked to sift through hundreds of pictures and video clips dealing with the Global Food Crisis and to come up with a creative way in which to use them to communicate the depth of the problem.
Due to some unexpected technical difficulties and unfortunate time delays, I am now about a week and half behind. More stillness.
After a great “next steps” meeting with the head of marketing, I have been asked to write a more formal and “buttoned-up” business case for the my campaign idea to quantify the benefits and cost. This is what the decision-makers will use to say “go” or “no go.” Potential stillness.
It only makes sense that there must be times of stillness, even silence, perhaps in order for there to be times of proper praise, worship, and gratitude. If we have nothing to compare our former glories to, we would begin to think of our God as small and limited. In His wisdom, He reveals to us glimpses into His splendor, satisfying us only so much as to feed the yearning and desire of our heart to want more.
So, while I work and wait, and wait and work, I feel the Spirit building up within me a hope for a future glory. My hope and prayer for you, no matter where you are or what you are doing, is that you would also come to know and feel that God is preparing to show you another measure of His glory so that you would be refreshed and satisfied. But only for a little while.
The God of the universe loves us too much to let us settle for what we can see and understand. What a greater love though, that would continue, daily, to romance us and to lead us to a secret place, filled with greater glory than we can begin to comprehend. This is our God: the romancer of our spirits and the lover of our souls. Be swept away, won’t you?