We had just passed through the security check at the airport in N. C. on our way to Dallas. I got my wife seated at a restaurant for a snack while I went and checked on our gate. As I was leaving, I glanced at my shirt pocket, and saw that my passport and boarding pass were not there! Wow, that was a potential glitch!
Immediately the Spirit spoke: “This is a test! Will you trust me in this?” “OK, Lord, I praise you for this new challenge, for the chance to give you glory by trusting you. You know what you are doing and I can rest in you no matter what the outcome!”
I told my wife about it, and went right back to security where all the bins were searched, but no passport or boarding pass. “Well, Lord, another chance to give you glory in praising by faith. Thank you for your goodness in this, for however you are going to work it out.”
As I arrived back to the restaurant, my wife happily came to me with my passport! It turns out that in the rush to get everything back in place after going through security, uncustomarily I had stuck the passport and boarding pass into my backpack. “Thank you, Lord!” Upon reflection, I realized this happened because I had been worried about getting through fast and was rushing, not being careful.
Then after arrival in Dallas, while waiting for our luggage, I tried to call the office to see who would pick us up. If they came right away, there was time to make our two interviews scheduled for that afternoon. However, all I got was the answering machine (turns out I was using the wrong number). I began to get irritated; worry and anger were not far behind.
As I went out and looked up and down the line of waiting cars, again the Spirit spoke, “Can you thank me for this one?” My reply this time was more reluctant. “All right, Lord, I will praise you.” My will engaged, but my emotions were elsewhere. I walked down to the end of the line of cars, and at that moment the gracious folks from the office pulled up. When we arrived at the office, we found that the interviews had been rescheduled for another day, so, although we were late, we didn’t miss a thing. God had it all in hand!
The next morning in my quiet time, while thinking through these events, it struck me that my irritation and worry at the airport were “glory-stealers.” That is, by my worry I was saying “The Lord isn’t handling this well, so I’d better jump in and help Him out!” There was no faith in that response, only arrogance. But when He reminded me to trust Him and to rest in His strength, I was able to praise without having any result in sight; that gave Him glory. This insight opened up a whole new perspective for me: in every response I can steal glory from God or give it to Him!
The next morning there was opportunity to practice this. We were getting ready to go to the office; Barbara was carefully arranging everything in our room before going and I was getting impatient. Then the Spirit reminded me: “Isn’t impatience a ‘glory-stealer?’” “Oh, right, Lord, I repent; thank you for this delay and the patience you offer me!” My heart calmed down, I relaxed, all went well, and most importantly, God was glorified.
So I encourage us all to take a closer look at our reactions and be aware that sins such as worry, complaining, negativeness, impatience, etc, are all glory-stealers, but also opportunities to repent, deny what is natural and give glory to God through trust and praise. People around us will notice it. And all the angels and demons around us see it clearly! “He who offers the sacrifice of thanksgiving honors me and opens the way that I may show him the salvation of the Lord.” Ps 50:23