If we are honest, there is a place deep inside of each of us that is longing to get glory. It could be for something as simple as making a dessert that everyone raves about or as big as making the winning basket in the state championship game. We all like a little attention and glory.
The best kind of glory, the only glory that truly satisfies a soul, is the glory of the Lord shining all around and in us. That’s the kind of glory we really want. The problem is that many times we don’t realize it until we get one of those glorious experiences we have been dreaming of and find out it isn’t all that satisfying after all.
The glory we are looking for is available to each of us. It happened to the shepherds in the Christmas story. They were doing what shepherds do—the regular, monotonous job of keeping the flocks at night. That meant the un-glorious tasks of counting the sheep and getting a fire going that would scare away the predators. It wasn’t the most glamorous of jobs. It was not the kind of the thing that would draw out a TV crew to show on the nightly news. It was just business as usual for them.
That’s the thing about looking for this kind of glory: you don’t find it by focusing on yourself and the great things you can do. This kind of glory is experienced as you become less aware of yourself and more aware of the might and power of God. The shepherds show us that this kind of glory can cause you to feel a little off-balance. The shepherds were flat-out terrified when their hopes of glory actually came into their reality one night on a lonely hill. It ended up being the night that changed all nights for the whole universe and all the men and women who had been born into it. An angel showed them real glory, first in the message they gave and, second in the words they said.
The angel told the shepherds to go and find humble Jesus. It is in looking to Jesus that they would see real glory. There wouldn’t be any of the hoopla of mystical beings appearing to them and shining in a supernatural way; it would be found in a tiny, human-like God, wrapped in clothes used for a peasant and sleeping in a feeding trough for animals. That is the glorious message. They told the shepherds to look for Jesus to find glory. Then that one angel was joined with a host of heavenly creatures who began to praise God together and say, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests” (Luke 2:14).
If you are looking for glory, do as the angels. Praise God in the highest and realize the glory of being favored by Him. This is the glory that lasts a lifetime. Jesus’ whole existence on earth was about looking for glory. He knew where to look for glory, and He shows us how to find the glory we are seeking. He found glory when He focused His life on glorifying God. At the end of your life, I hope you can say the same words Jesus was able to say to His Father: Jesus replied, If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me (John 8:54). If you are looking for glory, look for Jesus. You will find the glory belongs to God; and when God is glorified, you find the glory your soul has been seeking all along.