In the Splash Zone

They wanted to be splashed.

That’s what my daughters said as we walked into the pavilion with risers, some of them marked “Splash Zone” and others unmarked, indicating the safer, dryer seating area.

There’s something about childhood that makes you love getting wet, especially when it’s a dolphin splashing her tail that’s sending a wave your way.

Sadly, most of us grow up and out of this urge to get splashed.  We start to climb a little higher to avoid the “Splash Zone,” to play it safe and mature and under control.

My kids, however, crowded into the front rows of seats with all the other excited children and joined in shouting for the dolphin to splash “over here, get me, don’t forget me!”

I may not be eager to get soaked at a dolphin show, but there’s one place where I’m climbing all over folks to sit up front and center.

I’ve been arriving early and often, staunchly guarding my seat until the largest wave of them all rises high over the edges of the pool and splashes down all over me, soaking me through so deeply that you could wring out my soul into a puddle on the ground.

I want a front row seat to God’s glory.  I want to see it, drench in it, feel it, and I don’t want to miss a single drop of His Spirit pouring down.  No playing it safe, comfortable or in control.  If the seats where I’m sitting aren’t marked with warning signs for the Splash Zone, I need to move down closer.

Others have longed for the front row seating for God’s glory.  Like Moses, of course, meeting with God on that holy mountain and asking with so much boldness I can’t even believe he dared to say it: “Show me Your glory.”

Ezekiel saw it and painted unimaginable pictures, trying to cram the glory of God into the confines of words, so unfitting and restrictive.  It was like a rainbow, like bronze, shining bright like a blazing fire.

What was it?

“It turned out to be the Glory of God!  When I saw all this, I fell to my knees, my face to the ground” (Ezekiel 1:28 MSG).

That’s what the uninhibited presence of God does, knocks us straight to the ground.  We can’t postulate and question it, hesitating: “I think this is what God is saying,” or “I think God is in this.”

When you’re sitting in the front row, you can’t mistake His glory.

Rick Warren wrote:

“What is the glory of God?  It is who God is.  It is the essence of his nature, the weight of his importance, the radiance of his splendor, the demonstration of his power, and the atmosphere of his presence.  God’s glory is the expression of his goodness and all his other intrinsic, external qualities” (The Purpose Driven Life, p. 56)

The beloved disciple John’s testimony was that of an eyewitness to this, saying, “We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son” (John 1:14 MSG).

Trampling along after Jesus, James, Peter and John probably didn’t expect much on the day of the transfiguration. They’d taken that walk with Jesus many times.  And hadn’t they just totally messed up at the feeding of the 5000, underestimating Jesus’ ability to transform a meager lunch into a feast for thousands?

They certainly didn’t seem ready to glimpse heaven that day.  Yet, it was there on the Mount of Olives where they saw him no longer as God-man, but God and God alone in all of His divinity and light.

“They saw his glory,” and Peter, the master of understatement said, “Master, it is good for us to be here” (Luke 9:32, 33 NIV).

He’s right, you know.  It may be simple and straightforward, but it is good for us to be in the presence of God’s glory.

These close-knit trio of disciples had followed along after Jesus many times, climbing up the Mount of Olives to pray, taking time out of exhausting ministry to kneel in God’s presence.

But they didn’t see Christ transfigured every time.  That was a one-time event.

That means the Mount of Olives isn’t some magic formula for a God-sighting so much as a constant discipline of our faith.  It’s got to be a daily trek for us, a meeting place with God where we linger often and stubbornly climb even when things are difficult or dreary or we’ve failed.

In Streams in the Desert, L.B. Cowman wrote: “Every Christian should have his own Mount of Olives”

Because when God reveals His glory, we want to be there.  We won’t want to have missed out that day with excuses of busyness, fatigue, or shame.

I want a front row seat in the splash zone of His glory.  Don’t you?

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

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