Moses said, “please show me your glory” (Exodus 33:18).
When I imagine the glory of God, I have grand and terrible thoughts. Not in a bad way. In an overwhelming way. Moses sets me up for it. When he asks God to see his glory (Exodus 33:18), God gives a frightening response. God says, “here, stand in the cleft of this rock so that you are protected and don’t look at my face, because if you see it, you will die” (Exodus 33:19-20). God’s response conjures up images of wrath, danger, and imminent destruction. But that is not at all what happens. God appears in the quiet stillness of a morning on a misty mountain top. There is peace in the air, not a roaring hurricane. God shares his abundant love and faithfulness with Moses. It’s who he is.
I submitted a similar question to God, “what does it look like to be in your presence.” He provided an amazing answer, right under my feet.
Every morning, I sit in the same spot. I have a recliner that is the perfect place to drink my coffee and begin my daily reading. This happens at 5:00 AM, every day. Most mornings, my son would enter my room sleepy-eyed and dragging his blanket. Quietly and carefully, he chooses a spot directly in front of my chair, lying down and quickly falling to sleep. The first couple of times that he did this, I would wake him up, asking “if he wouldn’t be more comfortable on the couch?” It is, after all, about five feet away. His response was always simple and always the same, “No, I’m good.” While he lies there my heart and mind ponder his little body and his spunky personality. Swelling with pride, I consider how perfect he is. Truly, I wouldn’t change anything about him. I consider what he will be like when he grows up, the places he will go and the man he will become. Of course, some of that is up to me. The love that I provide him and the discipline that I encourage will help shape him into that man. I pray for him, asking God to bless him, protect him and challenge him. I pray for me. That I might be a good example and, above all, share with him the love of the Father that I know in a meaningful and effective way.
After several days of this, it finally dawned on me. God had answered my prayer in the most profound way. You see, Freddy was not coming into my room to sleep. He was coming to be in my presence. The couch, while available and far more comfortable was not nearly as secure and intimate as my feet. This is how it feels to be in God’s presence. Always. He is abounding in love and faithfulness.
Exodus 34:5-7 (ESV) The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there and proclaimed the name of the Lord. The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”