I love to watch a young child as he or she begins to explore the huge world that surrounds them. They show such a fascination in things which so many of us adults now take for granted. Ants scurrying about their daily business, ladybirds walking up a stem of a plant, worms appearing in the soil and then disappearing, the beauty of a butterfly as it rests in the sun on a leaf, a bird pecking for food in the grass. These, and so many more, give a child times of immense amusement, filling them with a sense of awe and wonder. Then, maybe when they are a little older, they watch the clouds move across the sky, or try to catch snowflakes or even try to count the stars in the sky, and their wonder and amazement in the world continues to grow, along with the questions Why? and How?
Where does that initial wonder in the world around us, that we experience in childhood, go? Just because we grow older and can answer many of the questions, that shouldn’t really mean that we lose the wonder of it all, should it? Perhaps the problem is that as we get older and have more responsibilities, we don’t any longer have the time to stand and stare and take in again the wonders of creation that surround us.
The wonder of creation was never far from the Psalmist’s heart, as is evident from examples such as 'The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.' (Ps 19:1) and 'When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers.......' (Ps 8:3) David was enthralled by what he saw around him, but what overwhelmed him even more with awe and amazement was that God the Creator was interested in and had time for mankind. 'What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you should care for him?' (Ps 8:4)
As men and women have come to discover and experience the love of the Creator, Father God for themselves, this dual theme of wonder, both in creation and in the involvement of the Creator with the affairs of man, has echoed down through the ages in countless words and expressions of wonder, love, honour and praise.
'O Lord my God when I in awesome wonder' are the first words of one of the most popular hymns of recent times. After reflecting on the wonders of creation, in the third verse the writer expresses further amazement at the wondrous truth of the Gospel message, that God sent His son to die on Calvary to take away our sin. This is something which perhaps we could all do with stopping to wonder at more often!
In the same vein, George Beverly Shea's song 'The Wonder of it All', after first reflecting on the wonder of various aspects of creation, proclaims “but the wonder of wonders that thrills my soul, is the wonder that God loves me”.
In the hectic troublesome times in which we live, may the Lord help us all to reflect afresh with a renewed childlike wonder and faith, not only on creation, but on the one who loves us and gave himself for us.
Prayer. Father God, thank you for the wonders of creation which demonstrate your power and majesty. Help me not to take it all for granted. Thank you also for the Cross which demonstrates your love for me and please help me not to take that for granted either. Amen.
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