Sunday, April 5, 2009

Be Glorified In Me

It began snowing this morning. When I first awoke I looked out the window right away, “good”, I thought, “the storm they had forecasted missed us!” But then it began just before 7 a.m. As much as I don’t like to have snow falling in April, the beauty all around us could not be denied as we drove to worship.

During the winter we tend to coop ourselves inside our homes, staying warm, drinking hot beverages, reading books. It’s an easy thing to do when the weather is frigidly cold and the wind takes your breath away. That is how I felt one past winter morning - I looked out at the glittering trees resulting from an ice storm, the shimmering blanket that covered the +12 inches of snow on the ground. How nice it was to be indoors…yet I knew that there were photographs to be captured of unparalleled beauty! I put on my gear, took a piece of cardboard with me that I had painted black, and was determined to capture some of God’s glory in a photograph through His creation of nature and it’s beauty. The photo in “Winter’s Glory” is one of a number of gorgeous winter photographs that make me revel in His wonder as my face stung and fingers were numbed while pressing the shutter release. I feel I have captured a glimpse of God’s glory – His shining radiance - found in the dead of winter.

Having just finished this layout, and hearing a message this morning on “Glory” – I cannot dismiss such a “coincidence” and feel God calling me to share from my note-taking, and my newest layout with all of you. It features a Magistical Memories Fancy Frame blanketed in white acrylic, texture paint and sparkle medium – creating a gorgeous frame for the photo. Papers used in this layout are from Basic Grey, Pink Paislee (Vintage Moon) and The Paper Element (Tinsel Town). A Pageframes snowflake shape is used as a backdrop for the journaling, edged in Ranger "Crsytal" Stickles and red gems by Kaiser Krafts. The silver glitter letters were colored with Ranger “Stream” alcohol ink, and the painted red chipboard letters were toned down with Latte Glimmer Mist by Tattering Angels.

There is a story in Exodus 33, versus 18-24: Then Moses said, "Now show me your glory." And the LORD said, "I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But," he said, "you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live." Then the LORD said, "There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen."

When Moses came down off that mountain the glory of God reflected upon his face. The people could not look upon him without fear, so he wore a veil to cover his face and hide the radiance that surrounded him. We are called to glorify God in 1 Corinthians 10:31, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” I try to do that in my life, but I have many shortcomings. Because of my sins, how can I even be deemed worthy to glorify God, who is perfect in every way?

Because of the death and resurrection of Jesus, we can see God’s glory reflected in one another by doing the work God has called us to do, as written in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “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.”

Look at what God does with a ball of dirt, called the moon… It shines its light down upon the earth. Many of us will stop and take notice, especially when it is full and “glorious”. We gaze at it, bring out the telescope, and have taken moonlit strolls while we were dating. The moon affects many people, from what I have read. Yet, in all its brilliance – it is simply a ball of dirt. The moon has no light source, it is merely reflecting off the sun.

How we live affects others. We can reflect off of God’s true Son and make an impact as we journey here on earth. 2 Corinthians 4:6-7 reads: For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay (aka balls of dirt) to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

So if you are like me, looking out your window this morning and seeing the earth blanketed with freshly fallen snow, consider how God has wiped away the stains of your sin by giving His Son Jesus as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. We are not perfect, but He is. God deserves to be glorified, yet we are unworthy. No matter…because like the branch and shriveled up berries, made dazzling in a new blanket of winter’s glory, we are able to dazzle others with God’s glory when we live to serve Him. I pray that through my actions, in my daily living, God be glorified in me.


Denise said...

Gorgeous. And what a cool technique for taking photos -- with a piece of painted black cardstock. TFS!

Julie O. said...

Beautiful layout and passage my friend!!