Monday, January 28, 2008

Show me your Glory

I lost a cousin two weeks ago. He was 17 years old, a senior in high school, with a full and promising life in front of him. I went to the visitation at the church the night before the services and was humbled and amazed at what I saw.

My cousin had been involved in the mission field at his church traveling to several places in and outside the US. He was involved in starting and growing a couple of student organizations in his middle and high schools. He was an enthusiastic and successful racer on the ATV circuit.

At the church that Wednesday night, I estimate that no fewer than 1000 people came through the line for him and his family. The vast majority of them were high school and middle school youth. While I'm not glad that my cousin died, I am glad that he had an impact on so many young lives. He had obviously touched their lives while living, even if only in a casual way. It was very obvious that night that he had touched all those lives in a much deeper way with his death.

The day that I learned about his death, my Sunday School class was doing a Bible study on Exodus 33:12 - 23. In this passage of Scripture, Moses has gone back up the mountain to talk to God. This is after the Israelites have made the idols and, effectively, thumbed their nose at God. In the end, God agrees to send his presence along with Israel as they continue on. At that point, Moses says "Now show me your Glory." (Exodus 33:18). God then tells Moses that he will shelter in the cleft of a rock, covered by God's hand as he passes by. The last thing God says in this chapter is "Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen." (Exodus 33:23).

I, being the concrete thinker that I am (daggum engineering and technology education), have always taken this as literal. God has a body much like ours and Moses was allowed to look at his back. Well, at the Bible study, someone brought up that the original Hebrew words used for the "see my back" could be translated as "see where I have been." One very intelligent young lady said that she thought that the passage might mean that we are supposed to pay attention to what God has been doing to see his Glory.

Well, that hit my heart that Wednesday night sitting in the church. As I looked around at all the people and all the pictures and all the memorial items, I realized that God was showing us His Glory in Luke's life. God had been at work in this young man's life and by looking at where God had been, we could truly see the Glory.

I caught a glimpse of Your splendor
In the corner of my eye
The most beautiful thing I've ever seen
And it was like a flash of lightning
Reflected off the sky
And I know I'll never be the same

("Show Me Your Glory" by Third Day)

Curtis Luke Byars
April 7, 1990 - January 12, 2008
May you rest in God's arms

4 comments:

Debbie said...

Steven,

This is EXACTLY what God intended. There were over 2000 people to come to the visitation and approx. 800 to the celebration service. It was truly a worship experience. We went EXPECTING to see salvation rise up and our BIG GOD showed up amazingly. All the people ( young and old ) were moved. The truth was shared and hearts were touched and lives were changed. What the enemy intended for evil, the LORD poured out goodness and blessing. Luke's life and death has and will continue to make a difference.

Thank you for your beautiful words. The Lord has used you to comfort my heart. Bless you and your family.
Leaning into HIS arms,
Debbie (Luke's mom)

Anonymous said...

indeed. though His intentions are most often under cover, they are good. so good. that the death of a loved one could be transformed into such a show of glory is beyond my understanding...but i believe...
~mg

Ray McKay Hardee said...

Steven,

Your words are such a comfort and bulwark against the enemy. He sought Luke all of his life. In the final battle for salvation, CHRIST won! I saw Luke at his best and he reminded me of the heart of Christ. "The good men do live after them" someone once said. SO much good has come from the lives of all the people that were connected with Luke. Even when it appeared that evil did win, God ALWAYS wins in the end. The hope we have is steadfast and sure as a foundation of the Jesus Christ- The One TRUE Cornerstone, Master Engineer, Designer, Creator, and Lover of the Universe and all He put into it. Thank you for sharing your life through the lens that God gave you.

As a pastor, I am grateful for engineers. They bring the things to life that God gives to visionaries. What an important work and calling you have!

What an awesome word to share about your cousin. 100's and even 1000's of people are praying for David, Debbie, and Hannah. Everything Matters! Thanks again for your calling and your willingness to share. It would be great if you would pass the word that Luke's church will be taking a family mission trip to Ecuador in the summer of 2009, one of the places Luke served on the mission field. We are dedicating this trip to Luke and his family who have a HUGE HEART for Christ to touch the ends of the earth.

If you and others would be interested in participating, please stay in touch with Debbie or contact me at pastor@forestpointe.org.

Stay Motivated For The Master!

Ray McKay hardee, Lead Pastor
Forest Pointe Church
Honored to be the Byar's Pastor

Anonymous said...

what if we all paid attention to what God has been doing? oh the glory we would see! thanks so much for your words.

mindful,

nic allen...student pastor