Of course there are no guarantees — no matter how selfless we are, how devout our practices, how righteous we appear in others’ eyes.
The natural disaster still happens, the illness progresses, the unexpected still happens because there is no warranty on how things must go while we’re here.
What is guaranteed is our vision of God’s glory as portrayed through His infinite sacrifice, His infinite worth, His infinite value, His infinite presence and transcendence. We glorify him through our enjoyment of Him — right now, right here — the bonus of another morning, another noon, another evening. It is bonus, not anything we are owed.
Sometimes I’d get mad because things didn’t work out well, I’d spoil a flapjack, or slip in the snowfield while getting water, or one time my shovel went sailing down into the gorge, and I’d be so mad I’d want to bite the mountaintops and would come in the shack and kick the cupboard and hurt my toe. But let the mind beware, that though the flesh be bugged, the circumstances of existence are pretty glorious. ~Jack Kerouac
The little things can bug us. In fact, like a thistle covered with aphids which entices ants, we can be bugged on top of bugs. Yet we still bloom.
But we are on notice. The bugs do exult in our flawed flesh, a reminder of our vulnerability and short stay on this good earth, bugs and all.
The rest is all glorious, right down to the roots that hold us fast.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” Luke 2: 13-14
Glory comes first, first before anything else. Glory is God reaching down: it emanates from God, is the essence of God, is our hope and joy to witness through God coming to earth to dwell among us. We too easily forget that His glory is the reason for which we and everything else was created, that we God breathed his glory into us with that first breath we take.
The world will know no peace, man can know no good will until we glorify God first and foremost. We are here because he created us in his image to reflect that bright and shining light. Our stubborn choices, our faults and sins sully that reflection. We fail to respond with gratitude to the grace we are given, we are self-centered, less humble and forgiving than he designed us to be, we defy his intentions by denying our existence has a glorifying purpose. We are in sore need of a savior to set us straight again to reflect his glory, to breathe it in and sing it out with every word we utter.
The heavenly host makes it overwhelmingly clear: we are to glorify God first, first before anything else. Then all else good and wonderful will come to pass.
And to think the shepherds got a peek of what he looked like that night in a manger. A glorious plan. A glorious God.