Platforms for God’s Glory

Jesus commanded his disciples to go into all the world and tell others he was alive and ready to answer every cry of their hearts. In Africa, we had only to step out our door to find someone who hadn’t yet heard. In a culture where people live outside more than in, we experienced a community similar to a friendly campground. In crowded marketplaces or bus depots, opportunities to talk bustled shoulder to shoulder.

But once back in the United States, streets seemed empty and quiet. Our family attended a home church and traveled to speak in others. We were surrounded most of the time by believers. Chances to talk about Jesus with people outside of church were few. I began to wonder, Am I ashamed to speak of Christ? Am I purposely avoiding people? I asked God about it.

On one trip our two-year-old son Ben fell seriously ill with meningitis. We sped through the night to a large hospital. My husband Neal, son Daniel, four years old, and I stayed in a Ronald McDonald House. A multi-unit home near the hospital, it offered low-cost but beautiful shelter for families of seriously ill children.

God sent us to a “zone” not entirely comfortable or familiar. We dwelt under the same roof with people whose lifestyles were different than ours. But we shared a common bond, knowing our precious children’s lives were in jeopardy. Answering my prayer, God arranged many opportunities to talk, pray, and try to comfort my housemates. Ben survived and, twelve days later, we took him home on Christmas eve.

None of us would choose the painful, wrenching experiences God allows to invade our space. But He has a message of love and hope to get out and He wants a platform from which He can speak. Our trials can provide that stage from which we can show others He is faithful.

We watch people on stages intently—those with cancer, wayward children, financial woes, or disloyal spouses. Will God take them through? Will He be enough? Will we be able to trust Him with the most difficult things life may bring us?

Somehow, I need these people on platforms to “sing” the wonderful words of life to me over and over again. Like a child, I want to hear the same old story again and again: yes, God is able. God is faithful. God is enough.

When Moses, Aaron, and others ascended Mount Sinai, they “saw the God of Israel. Under His feet was something like a pavement made of sapphire, clear as the sky itself” (Exodus 24:10 NIV). One French translation refers to that “pavement” as a “plat-form”—the place from which God showed His glory.

For most of us, speaking from a platform is uncomfortable and even frightening. But that’s where God puts us sometimes to get others’ attention. He wants to show His glory through us where all will see and hear.

Charles Brent, missionary and bishop (1862-1929), said, “If every call to Christ and His righteousness is a call to suffering, the converse is equally true. Every call to suffering is a call to Christ, a promotion, an invitation to come up higher.” Let us willingly go up higher for we shall see the glory of God and announce the saving name of Christ.