God tells us to be fruitful and multiply here in the Earth, so the loss of a child feels backwards in every way. It is physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually devastating. There is not a place within us that the pain does not reach. We discover parts of ourselves for the first time, because there is no place that does not grieve. Partly, because we’ve lost something that is absolutely irreplaceable, and partly because a child is a gift from God in the first place. It’s just unnatural. 2013 had already been the worst year for our family for many reasons, even before Christiano left us. I remember a few weeks after Christiano had passed, I got so mad at the enemy, and I shouted out loud ‘Everything we lost in 2013 will be restored in 2014!’ And, lately I’ve been wondering, ‘what does that even mean? Is it even possible?’ Nothing will ever replace Christiano; not any thing and not any one. God talks about bringing us from glory to glory and we, as a church, talk about it, too. We sing songs about it, preach messages on it, and we say it to one another. I always understood it to mean that our life here on Earth would keep getting better and better; better jobs, better cars, better houses, and a better life. Don’t get me wrong, I know that God can do that, and He delights in the blessing of His children, but I don’t think that is what ‘glory to glory’ means.
2 Corinthians 3:18 says,
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
The NLT version says,
So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord–who is the Spirit–makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
I think going from ‘glory to glory,’ means that those who know The Truth are daily being transformed into the image of Christ, and this can happen at any time. It can happen when life is going well, and it can happen when life is a mess; on the mountain and in the valley; in times of blessing and in times of suffering. Things can be in shambles on the outside, but nothing can stop the glory of God from flowing in our lives. I know that through this suffering, God is with me. He has shown forth His glory, and He has activity loved me. Even when I don’t feel Him, I know He is with me. He is being glorified in my weaknesses. Paul emphasizes this over and over in the epistles. I believe God is restoring some things for us, even now. He is restoring my hope, my intimacy with Him, my faith, my sanity, and most of all, my heart. Just like Paul, I’m willing to admit that I have nowhere near arrived. There are many things I don’t understand and, today, in this moment, I am ok with that. I don’t profess to have all the answers, but I know that God is showing Himself to me through this and that somehow He is empowering me to ebb and flow to His unforced rhythm of grace. So, from glory to glory I go, praying and believing that Christ is being glorified.
‘I may be weak, but Your Spirits strong in me, my flesh may fail, but my God, You never will.’