I am always amused when I read the story of the transfiguration. I see so much of myself in Peter. Every time my eyes are open to the greatness of God, I want to get busy (metaphorically speaking) building tents. There is something about encountering the all powerful God that humbles me. It humbles me because I think I spend a lot of time either trying to make myself god-like or making God like me. I do not do this consciously, but the further I go in the spiritual life, the more I see human nature. The more I understand selfishness and pride.
As I was pondering this concept, I thought about the greatness of God in nature. I saw the greatness of God in his people, even if faulty because of sin. I thought about those moments when I really experienced God. Then I thought about how beautiful the world would be if I would just stop building tents; if I would just spend more time allowing myself to be humbled.
This reminds me of something I recently read. I do not remember which spiritual writer said this, but the statement was about how our image of God is purified early on in the spiritual journey. If you struggle with this idea of a faulty image of God, ponder how often people become angry with God when they grow confused by his methods. How many people have turned away from God because he did not behave the way they wanted? How many people are angry because God did not meet their expectations; did not do things the way they would do them if we were God? Can we each say that we have not had something similar happen to us? In fact, is it even possible to fully comprehend a God who is transcendent; who is beyond our full capacity to understand?
Today, I encourage you to spend some time pondering your own reaction to encounters with God’s greatness. Invite the Holy Spirit into your prayer to ask him to help you be open to where he wants to work. Ask yourself questions like, how do I respond when I encounter God? Do I fall on my knees as evidenced by Peter’s response to the transfiguration as captured in Matthew, or do I get busy wanting to build tents as portrayed in Mark and Luke? Ask the Holy Spirit to show you where your concept of God needs some purification. If you harbor any anger towards God, take that to prayer, and ask the Holy Spirit to show you how to be healed and reconciled with God. He loves you. He wants to reveal himself to you, and he wants to lead you into the fullness of life. To do so, he needs you to spend time in prayer and being open to his truth and his light.