Prayer for the Week of July 29 – For The Display of His Splendor
Have you ever noticed that difficult situations always bring out the best and worst in people? Seriously. There are very few people in the “middle” when events become, shall we say, less than ideal.
We just returned from a weekend camping trip in Williams, Arizona. It’s July which in much of the west means dry weather, but for the high-country of Arizona its what you call monsoon season. Typically that just means a short rain shower in the afternoon or a crazy dust storm if you happen to be down in the valley desert floor. Our experience was a wee-bit more exciting than that. Every afternoon starting at around 4:00 a big-ol’ rumbling thunderstorm would roll in and empty itself on us. The rain would last until sometime around ten at night. Thankfully we were with a group of people that just sort of laughed about the inconvenience and our inability to have dinners or campfires together. We all just smiled and said, “Can you believe this weather?!?”
On Sunday we had planned a visit to the Grand Canyon in the morning. The skies weren’t quite clear but blue sky was showing. In truth it started out as a beautiful day. We arrived and headed to the shuttles to be driven out to the South Rim. As we sat in the shuttle I watched the sky darken with the ominous clouds of an incoming thunderstorm. I did not want to get off that bus!! But here we were with my mom and daughters all really wanting to see the canyon. Right before we stepped off I turned and said to my husband, “Mark my words if we get off this bus we’re going to get drenched.”
Well you know what happened? Yep, about a minute after we got off the bus it started to sprinkle rain. About a minute after that it started to pour. Of course there was no shelter and the closest shuttle stop was three tenths of a mile back up the trail. So we started walking. It started thundering. We walked faster. It thundered louder and lightening flashed. My youngest daughter, who is really scared of thunderstorms started crying. It rained harder in big pelting drops. We walked faster. Then the hail started, small at first quickly growing to marble size. We started running, laughing and crying. Hail that size when it hits in you in the head really smarts!
To add insult-to-injury, by the time we got to the bus stop the shuttle was COMPLETELY full. (Talk about no room at the inn!) So we continued to stand in the rain and hail. A lovely couple saw my daughters standing there soaked to the bone and my youngest still crying and stepped off the bus so that there was just room enough for the girls and my mom to get on.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. (Colossians 3:12-14)
What followed was mass exodus from the canyon trails back to the visitor center. We witnessed true compassion as people offered their very own jackets and sweatshirts to those who didn’t have any. We saw people laughing and shaking their heads in disbelief at the crazy events. We witnessed bus drivers who refused to pull away from the shuttle stops because in doing so would have taken some small shelter from the people who couldn’t fit on the bus. Yes, we also witnessed the ugliness of people and their lack of caring for the young and old, but I don’t want to talk about them. I want to focus on those who displayed God’s splendor in their tender acts of mercy. You see, I believe, our Father carefully designed each of us with giftings, callings, and yes, even circumstances for the displaying of His splendor. His splendor was displayed and I choose to focus on that.
You are my servant, in whom I will display my splendor. (Isaiah 49:3)
Every day, in good times and bad, in our work places and in our homes we have the opportunity to display His splendor in the way we interact with the people around us. Every day we have the opportunity to shine the light of His glory into the darkness. What a privilege to be used this way.
So for this Monday, be encouraged to see His goodness in your circumstances and shine bright for the display of His splendor.
Thank you for the honor of being one who carries the light of your glory. Thank you for the privilege of sharing your light with those around us every day. Please strengthen us to be calm in the chaotic moments, clothed in the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. Help us to love as Christ Himself loved for the display of Your splendor.