2/15/14

Journey into the Wonder of God: What Is 'Wonder'?


I mentioned to a friend, "I'm on a journey to experience more of the wonder of God." She looked at me with a different kind of wonder ... wondering whether I'd fallen off the deep end, spiritually. As I explained what "wonder" means, she understood. Taking this journey is something every Christian should consider.


We respond with jaw-dropping wonder when we survey the Grand Canyon, but are just as likely to
express “Wow!” over a powerful skyline full of skyscrapers or a piece of new technology with bells and whistles. I remember my boys’ wide-eyed wonder the first time they saw fireworks. But what is the "wonder of God"?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “wonder” as: “something or someone that is very surprising, beautiful, amazing, etc.; a feeling caused by seeing something that is very surprising, beautiful, amazing, etc.; something that is surprising or hard to believe.” 

To wonder is to be astonished, to admire something that amazes us. The wonder of God is our amazement and admiration of Him.

As I wrote in the last post, I was overwhelmed with wonder as I stood beneath the stars on a clear winter night. I believed the heavens were declaring the handiwork of God just for me that night (Psalm 19:1). It was the beginning of a journey to know my Creator in a more intimate way.

Margaret Feinberg, in her book Wonderstruck: Awaken to the Nearness of God, says she was “wonderstruck” as she stood beneath the beauty of the aurora borealis in Alaska. I lived in Iceland as a teenager, and I understand the beauty of the northern lights.

Feinberg defines the wonder of God: 

“The wonder of God is that moment of spiritual awakening that makes us curious to know God more.”

I’ve had glimpses of the wonder all though my life, pointing me to the Father. 

Once, driving to a speaking engagement, I glanced back and forth along the highway. Suddenly, I realized all the lovely shades of green in the trees and on hillsides. God could have made everything the same green, but He didn’t. He artfully painted our world with fern green, forest green, moss green, chartreuse, and numerous other shades. It’s not just "green."

Another time, while struggling with early stages of arthritis, I
exercised my fingers before a typing project. Bending and unbending the fingers, and considering how hands work, I prayed, “Thank you, God, for my fingersthese hands.” 

Some may consider that moment a little thing; but studying my hand pointed me back to the Creator. In a similar way, God used a colored graphic of the human eye in Gil Killam's life as he sat in the examination room of his eye specialist.

In "The Wonder of It All," Killam wrote, "I studied it for a moment and was astounded at the intricacy of the creation of the eye. I wondered how anyone could deny the existence of a Master Mind that made this amazing organ ...."

Killam's observation caused him to "marvel" at God's great power. He wrote, "We read in Colossians, 'For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth ... all things have been created through him and for him' (Colossians 1:16, NIV). The human body is a fantastic work of the Creator."

Likewise, Dr. David A. Steen, a professional biologist, is repeatedly moved to praise God and declare
His wonderful acts as he explores the breathtaking wonders of creation. He wrote the devotional, God of Wonders, to encourage others to discover this “overwhelming sense of awe.”

Steen’s purpose in pointing us to the God of wonders is that we will praise Him. In his opening notes, he quotes a number of scriptures—Daniel 4:2-3, Psalm 136:3-4, and the scripture I am memorizing, Psalm40:5.

He concludes his introduction with 1 Chronicles16:8-36. Let me share a portion of that passage:

“…give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done … tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name … Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles … great is the Lord and most worthy of praise… all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his dwelling place … Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness … Praise be to the Lord … Then all the people said, ‘Amen’ and ‘Praise the Lord.’” 

Truly, the wonder of God causes us to marvel. There is a sense of His holy presence, and a hunger to dwell there. There's a deep desire in our hearts to know God's character. My "wonder desire" is to have a fresh glimpse of His kingdom, and to lay aside any lesser kingdoms to praise and serve my King.

Do you see the wonders of this world? Do they point you back to the Designer, our Creator God? Take a moment to praise Him for His wondrous handiwork.

Check out all the "Wonder" articles under the sidebar label WONDER. 

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