After my husband soared to Heaven eight years ago, my three daughters and I found ourselves on an intense grief journey. I never imagined being a widow at age 37 when my girls were just 2, 5, and 8 years old. Despite the heaviness of grief, I knew God was near. And I longed for my daughters to experience His comforting presence too. That’s how we started chasing God’s glory together.
We started with a nightly rhythm of watching the sunset together. We would step out onto our back patio or pull over on the side of the road and pause to watch the colors waltzing across the sky.
Initially, my girls asked, “Mama, why do we watch the sunset? It happens every night.”
But soon they discovered that every sunset was unique. Little by little, this rhythm became something we looked forward to. There was something calming and comforting for the girls and me as we watched God paint the sky each night. Our Creator God, the Master Artist, met us in the brush strokes of sparkling gold and emerald green. The girls would point out the ribbons of ruby red and deep amethyst sashaying across the sapphire blue sky. We would smile and delight at the jewel-toned colors. We felt like it was a kiss from their daddy in Heaven.
Psalm 34 is one of my favorite verses. In it, David offers up this reminder: “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” David often experienced God’s glory and comfort as evidenced throughout the psalms.
Chasing sunsets was the beginning of what I now call glory hunts. Even today, my girls and I look for God’s glory in creation, in our neighborhood, at school, church, and in conversations. We share at the dinner table or in the car about how God showed up in our day. Each day we look out for the big and little ways God shows us His glory.
The word glory is mentioned more than 500 times in Scripture. God’s glory is the very essence of who God is, His character. Glory is what sets God apart. It’s the way God reveals himself to us, His presence.
Glory is a big idea in Scripture, but that doesn’t mean we can’t talk to our kids about it. In fact, sometimes the best way to help our kids understand big ideas is to help them explore and experience them for themselves. That’s what I did with my daughters. Our glory hunts would instigate conversations. We would chat about faith, what Heaven was like, the wonder of Creation, and other big ideas while we were on the glory hunt.
My daughters are teenagers now, but they still love to chase sunsets and tell me about the ways God showed up in their days. They text me photos or pull me out to the balcony to watch His glory chasing across the sky.
Psalm 19:1 declares: “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.”
This verse reminds us that all Creation (including us) can serve as an arrow pointing to God’s glory. We can plant seeds of hope and faith in our kids when we go glory hunting together.