This fall marks five years since Carly's story was published. But Finding Glory in the Thorns is really more than Carly's story. It was one of the ways Larry and I felt prompted to put God's power and presence on display — in our own hearts and lives as well as the hearts and lives of others God allowed us to intersect with during a remarkable experience of community. Those tumultuous early years of Carly's life with Angelman Syndrome were an incubator for us to soak up encouragement, prayers and practical help while learning profound things about how the loving presence of Jesus is expressed around us today by the power of the Holy Spirit in His people.
When we see the word "glory" appear in the Bible, sometimes it is referring to the fame or renown of God. Other times, the original Hebrew word is Shekinah and refers to the actual manifest presence of God. For example, the Divine presence dwelled among the people within the cloud by day and pillar of fire by night as the Israelites were led by God out of Egypt (Exodus 13:21). God met with the priests in the Tabernacle by manifesting His Divine presence when He hovered over the ark of the covenant beneath the wings of the cherubim (Exodus 25:22). There are many more examples (look them up some time for a richly encouraging reflection on some ways God has revealed Himself to His people over the years). Best of all, after Jesus' resurrection, we were given the gift of the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 1:3) and with that came the opportunity to experience God's eternal indwelling presence (1 Corinthians 3:16, Ephesians 2:19-22). Have no doubt, my friends, about the reality of God's power and nearness!
Over the years, Glory Stories have been a centerpiece of Walk Right In Ministries. Glory Stories are one awesome way God reassures each of us that we are never alone, how He shows us His Kingdom purposes and how He spurs us on when life gets bumpy. We are privileged to see that the original Finding Glory in the Thorns (also an eBook now) continues to inspire people to encounter the glory of God in their own challenges. Participants using the Finding Glory small group curriculum have been spurring one another on towards adventure with Christ throughout the US and in Canada. The Walking Partners model promotes the sharing of Glory Stories as part of a lifestyle that helps us point one another to Christ. And Wednesdays have become a day on our blog for featuring Glory Stories from folks around the world just like you and me — people recognizing that there is a beautiful power released from God when His activity within us and around us is spotlighted and declared.
God is alive! He cares about you. He is near to you. And His power will never be subdued. We have the authority, comfort and guidance of the Holy Spirit and our adventures can be fully embraced when we allow Him to join us in them!
Please consider sharing a Glory Story with us. And be encouraged to make talking about the power and presence of God your lifestyle!