Glimpsing glory, grasping grace

“O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!
You have set Your glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouth of babes and infants, You have ordained strength,
because of your enemies, that You may silence the enemy and the avenger.
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which You have ordained,
What is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that You visit him?”
-Psalm 8:1-4

The glory and grace of God that are contemplated in this passage never cease to blow my mind. I read these scriptures and I find myself wondering why we ever exalt anyone or anything above our Creator. Do we truly believe that we as men or the works of our hands can be more praiseworthy than the Almighty God whose voice causes the earth (as well as the heavens) to tremble (Hebrews 12:26)? Who always accomplishes His purposes and fulfills His promises because there is no power that can stop Him from doing so (Isaiah 14:27 & 55:11)? Who else is able to receive praise from inanimate objects (Luke 19:40)? Who knows the number of the stars as well as every hair on your head (Psalm 147:4 & Matthew 10:30)? How desperately wicked our hearts are to defy such glory and attempt to claim our own (Jeremiah 17:9). How wretched and broken and hopeless we are apart from Christ! (see Romans 5:1-5) It is no wonder that we find within ourselves and the world around us a longing for something more- something better. Is it possible that this longing stems from knowing that we were created to be so much more than what we are? That we find this persistent discontentment in our hearts and lives because we are desperately trying to fill a void we’re incapable of filling? Doesn’t it stand to reason that the One who can satisfy and restore our existence is the very One who created it?
But we are so ignorant and arrogant in our ways. We insist on trying to “fix” ourselves. We set our affections on ourselves, on another human, on our accomplishments, our successes, our wealth (the overall focus being us)….. And that is where the true problem lies. Our failed attempts to fix our brokenness only serve to further prove its existence.
And all the while, as we continue in our foolish pride and stubborn ways, a holy and righteous God watches over us, patiently enduring our stupidity and gently wooing us with His love. Like a loving parent who waits for their helpless child to acknowledge his inability to care for himself and his dependence upon them for what is necessary to maintain his life, so the Lord waits for His people. Because He has set His love upon His chosen ones, He will never let them be destroyed by anyone, even themselves (Hosea 11:8-9).
I have glimpsed His glory, but I’m no where near grasping His grace. I sit here at a loss for words. Truly, there is no way for my human mind to express in words the divine revelations it has witnessed. As I reflect upon the 22 years I’ve lived upon this earth, something I can’t deny is the Lord’s faithfulness in every circumstance. His goodness and glory that are so evident in all things and that He has so freely surrounded me with despite my stubborn attempts to belittle His worth and elevate my pitiful being in hopes that I could be my own god. Time and time again, I’ve tried so hard to resolve my issues or to exert control as if I can be self sufficient and self reliant. And time and time again, God has graciously spared me from destruction and received me back with open arms when I return to Him, even more broken and ashamed than before. Recently, I read a devotional that talked about how God’s grace for us grows each day. I’d never considered that before, but the author went on to make the point that, even if we are striving to be obedient to God, we will fail in that daily because of our fallen nature, and so our offenses against Him only increase with time. However, we can never outsin His grace because “where sin abound[s], grace abound[s] much more” (Romans 5:20). It is an overwhelming thought to contemplate grace that grows. He does not forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). His love does not fail us (Romans 8:38-39). And His grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). This is my hope in every affliction: the belief that, in His infinite glory and grace, my God will sustain me and the Blood of Jesus Christ will cover me when I enter into His holy presence for the rest of eternity (Romans 6:22-23 & Hebrews 10:19-23). This is my purpose for the future and my strength for the present. Until I finally behold His face and am satisfied when I am changed into His likeness on that day, I will cherish the glimpses of glory and savor each encounter with His everlasting grace.
“But we, with unveiled face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
2 Corinthians 3:18

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