Things aren't always what they seem to be. Take, for example, a piece of fruit, like an ugly fruit -- all gnarly on the outside, but incredibly luscious and sweet on the inside. Who knew?
Or how about a middle school aged boy, like my grandson Evan -- an ordinary (except to his parents and grandparents, of course) young man, but not obviously talented, not until he gets behind a set of drums. Then oh my! How he skillfully punctuates a contemporary worship song with beat! Who knew?
And what about a bush? I imagine the Old Testament patriarch Moses just thought the bushes on the backside of the desert where he tended sheep back in the day were just ordinary bushes. Until his eyes and ears were opened to see the Bush that burned without being consumed. It was all aglow with God -- the great I AM! Who knew?
Well, who knew that a particular rock could be more than a rock in Arizona (the site of our current travels) ... or anywhere else for that matter? It's just a rock, right? Sure it is, until it is cracked open, that is. Then wow! what "glory" inside! Yes, a geode is not just any rock. It's a rock that contains a shining treasure of crystals. However, the treasure remains hidden until it is cracked open with a hammer or a fall or a landslide or some kind of trauma. The rock will just stay ordinary and unattractive and obscure and unrevealing to those who have not witnessed the breaking or who are not willing to let the rock be broken.
Can you tell where I'm going with this? Yes, a geode is a beautiful picture of my ordinary and, oftentimes, unattractive human life containing the glorious, extraordinary God Himself. I may be nothing to write home about humanly/physically, so to speak. But when my life is broken open as I walk with my Lord through the trials He allows in my life, oh my! His glory peeks through and at times, bursts through the cracks and brokenness, manifesting God's life in amazing and often surprising ways.
The Scriptures are replete with references to God's gloriousness united with our humanness. We see it supremely in God's Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And because of Him and His indwelling life, God's glory now resides in His children by grace through faith. Our fellow believers in Christ are, along with us, many little "geode-folks," containing our Glorious God, being continually revealed as we walk with Him in ever increasing brokenness on this earth.
My favorite passage of Scripture that speaks to this metaphor is 2 Corinthians, chapter 4.
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay [geode rocks], to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed;
perplexed, but not driven to despair;
persecuted, but not forsaken;
struck down, but not destroyed;
always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.
For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
So death is at work in us, but life in you....
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.
For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,
as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.
For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
What are you going through right now, dear child of God? The hard things need not crush you, destroy you, nor cause you to despair because of being feeling forsaken. You are not alone in it all. And God is using whatever life in this fallen world and the enemy of your souls throw at you. He is manifesting His glorious Self through you into this dark world. Be encouraged, precious one, and walk with Him through it all.
More next time. But in the meantime, would you spend some time in our passage above and ask the Lord about your situation? May He show you Himself in your suffering.
Amen and glory!
You may also enjoy the rest of this series:
Part 2 -- Broken Open Glory in all it's Glory
Part 3 -- on its way