Monday, August 23, 2010

To God ...Be the Glory

As my kids grow (they are 16, 13, and 8 ..respectively), I am constantly amazed at how unique, and how alike, each of them are. My oldest loves music. Eats, breathes, and sleeps music. He loves to read, and to challenge his own thinking about things in the world, and eternity beyond. My middle son also loves music, and is becoming a very good drummer. But the middle one is also very mechanically inclined. He loves getting his hands dirty, and working on things. He has broken down, and repaired, more bicycles than I wish to count. Unlike my oder son isn't so much that he wants to know "how" it works, but just knows that it "needs" to work and that it is up to him to make it work. Both are desireable traits. My youngest son I have yet to really peg. Maybe it's because he is still young, but I believe I see characteristics of both of his older brothers. This is logical enough I suppose.

I've learned something about myself, through them, over the years. Well.. I've learned lots of things through them, but inparticular... I have learned that I have a very difficult time letting them fail. This wasn't really an epiphny; just a realization, which I began noticing early on. A normal parental action / re-action I guess ...but this really becomes problemmatic as they get older; as "problems" are not only inherent in life, but are very beneficial to daily living. For example ..problems inherently teach us how to act and re-act. Problems teach us how to process and organize thoughts (i.e. we have to begin to calculate how to "fix" the problem ...or if we "can" fix the problem).

I am fearful, at times, of seeing either of my three sons fail. Yet I know that, in failure, they learn important life lessons. Sure, there are limits. When I am able to convince myself to allow a failure (assuming I even actually know when a failure is occuring) ...I can only take so much. But problems, even those leading to failures, teach profoundly important spiritual lessons as well. When things don't go our way ...we ultimately must learn that things aren't always meant to go our way. When we feel pain ...we appreciate the joy of feeling good. Hopefully, all of these things lead to being thankful to the Creator of all good things; who is also the "allower" of many bad things. This is a struggle. History tells the story of two sisters who felt this all human beings have, or will.

Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent to him, saying, "Lord, he whom you love is ill." But when Jesus heard it he said, "This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it."
-John 11:1-4

Jesus' final statement strikes me! Did Jesus not heal Lazarus simply forthe sake of "healing"? Many times, in Scripture, He did just that. I believe He desired that Lazarus be healed, and feel better, even in this instance. But this was not the entirety of His purpose. It was for God's glory, so that Jesus, Himself, may be glorified through it!

This is what we would call a "win-win scenario"! Every time Christ, and the Father, get the glory and I, ultimately, receive the "benefit". Glorify God for "who" He is ...not for what He does. Understand that He is the Creator ...and we are the created. When something good happens in our lives ...give glory to Him, as that good thing is, ultimately, "from" Him. When bad times come, and they will, give God glory for those bad times, even leading to death. Even in doing this and I reap the ultimate "benefit" ....according to His riches in glory. It would seem, to me, that an all-knowing, all-loving, all-powerful God ...can gain no more or less by His creation giving Him glory. But it would appear, according to His own actions, that He receives great joy in brining joy to His creation. Albeit ...that "joy", many times, comes through much physical, emotional, or spiritual pain. Lean on Him. Stay the course. Be in it for the long haul. He will give you joy in your life now, and in eternity to come. If you and I are bothered with being created in the first place ...that, and all we do, is to be for His glory ...and you and I receive the benefit; not as a by-product ...but as personally intended by the Father of all creation.

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