In the Christmas story, we hear about shepherds being told by angels about Jesus’ birth. What an amazing thing they saw! And the story tells us that everyone they told were amazed and “wondered”
In the book Gentle Giant, Robert Unverzagt in his sermon “A Faith of Exclamation” says, “A sense of wonder must be the essence of any relationship with God.” He later adds, “We are working so hard, we have no time to experience wonder, for you have to be standing still to delight in anything.”
Our world has been moving at a fast pace for a long time, a lifetime for some of us. Lately it has slowed down a bit, due to the coronavirus, but have we really stopped and noticed all there is around us? Perhaps our hyperactivity has been replaced with concerns about the future. The present time seems to offer little in the way of the wonder that the shepherds experienced. Maybe we need to stand still as Robert Unverzagt suggests. Or at least slow down our activity or any negative thoughts.
You may not be able to get to the beach and watch the waves, each different, a never-ending succession coming onshore for thousands of years, but you can step outdoors and see the stars at night. One man, selling night-vision glasses, said that he thoroughly enjoyed using them to see the stars. He could even see the bands of the Milky Way!
Or perhaps you could take some time out in nature, not running along a man-made trail, but to sit quietly on your back porch or in a park and try to see the variety of nature from a different perspective than before, from a sense of wonder. There are two crepe myrtle trees outside my window, loaded with beautiful cranberry-colored flowers. No two are alike; each formed in its own unique way.
God has made us that way as well. Do we wonder at our own uniqueness, how we seem to all fit together as cogs in a machine that works well, or as the Bible put it, as all parts of one body, each part with its own function. Some are responsible for the electricity we use, some for the trash that’s collected, others for the water that comes out of our faucets, and still others for the food we find on store shelves. Not to mention all the other areas we enjoy in our lives – TV, computers, music, gas for our cars and service stations that provide for their maintenance and repair, health care, phone service – we could go on and on. Isn’t it a wonder to see us all working well together, considering our diversity.
Those with children often wonder how the same two parents can have two children so different from one another. Introverts and extroverts. Bookworms and baseball stars. Doctors and computer nerds.
Perhaps the greatest wonder is God’s unfailing grace for those who love Him. Do the days seem threatening? He will be with us like He was with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the furnace or with Daniel in the lions’ den or Stephen as he was about to die. Indeed He gives us many promises of His love and care in the Bible. Perhaps the greatest wonder is the love He has for us and the love He showed in His payment for our sins on the cross.
Do you wonder? Look around. Then look within. God is there and has always been there for us. Is it any wonder we love Him so!
“And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds.” Luke 2:18