It was a bit weird as our small group connected that following Sunday. The last time we had been together, as is our custom after our study, we had prayed. In particular, one of the people we prayed for was a brother’s grandmother. She was in her 90’s . . . suffering from dementia . . . isolated further by deafness . . . and had recently had a bad fall. We had been asked to pray that, if it was the Father’s will, that He might take her home. Seemed to be the merciful thing to do . . . our brother knowing that it was the desire of his grandmother’s heart. A few days later she was promoted into glory. That Sunday, as we came together after hearing of her passing, we found it kind of weird to acknowledge that our prayer had been answered because this elderly saint was no long among the living . . . at least, not among the living on earth. But something I read in John 17 this morning caused me to remember that her departure was also an answer to the Savior’s prayer.
Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, may be with Me where I am, to see My glory that You have given Me because You loved Me before the foundation of the world. (John 17:24 ESV)
WWJW? What would Jesus want? That those precious souls given Him by the Father would be with Him . . . that His sheep might come into His pasture . . . that His bride might come to their Bridegroom . . . that the redeemed would be with their Redeemer. Jesus wants His people to be with Him. Even now He is preparing a place for His own . . . “that where I am you may be also” (John 14:1-3). And every time a saint graduates from this scene, it’s an answer to the Savior’s prayer.
Being in His presence, though, is only the beginning. The ultimate prize being the blessing of seeing the glory given the Son by the Father. To be in His presence is to behold His glory. That which we have but a foretaste of through the illuminating work of the Spirit will give way to attentive gazes with immortal eyes. Not some passing glance, but an awe-induced fixed stare . . . an intensive focus set on discerning that which will take away our breathes . . . trying to take in every detail and nuance of His manifested majesty. Beholding the glory of the Son . . . it’s an answer to the Savior’s prayer.
And in being in His presence . . . through beholding His glory . . . we will enter into a depth of communion of which we cannot imagine . . . the very essence of the communion found in the Triune nature of the eternal God. Before the foundation of the world, the Father was loving the Son in the Spirit. God is love and, within the community of His own Triune being, He has been loving since before the earth was formed. Creation then, in a sense, being the product of His desire to love. Redemption then, being driven by the very nature of God to love . . . for God so loved the world. And, on that day, when faith gives way to sight . . . when this tent is shed for our heavenly dwelling . . . we will enter into the depths of fellowship known by God Himself within Himself. This too, being an answer to the Savior’s prayer.
O’ to behold His glory! The glory given Him by the Father . . . the glory that drives all of heaven facedown in worship.
What an answer to prayer! All praise be to the Prayer!