Pursuing the Wonder of God
The traffic stop at Kings Highway and Gilbert Drive on my way to the pediatrician that morning brought profound clarity.
I stared at the woman in the Lexus next to me. Perfect hair. Perfect makeup. Perfect car. Yes, even her nails were perfect. As my sick son fussed in his car seat behind me, I glanced at my weary reflection in the rear-view mirror and at the baby food stains on my sweat pants. I sighed.
Where had the wonder gone?
This is a new season, I reminded myself. I chose this sleep-deprived, messy season with a loving husband and baby, even if it sharply contrasted my former career years pursuing perfection in work, appearance, and life.
Besides, I didn’t know the woman next to me. Outwardly, she looked flawless, but inside, she could be hurting, driven, and miserable. My trade-off was pudgy fingers curled around mine, intimate midnight feedings, and more love than I ever imagined those precious moments could evoke.
The wonder didn’t disappear: it transformed and deepened.
When you were a child, I’m sure you worked the dot-to-dot drawings where you follow the numbers or maybe letters and after connecting each line to the next, a picture emerged. The page appeared to contain random points with no discernible pattern until you completed the lines.
Our lives are the same, simply messier.
Many times, our dots look like blots. God has seemingly random moments He wants to connect, which once linked begin to make sense.
A beautiful masterpiece emerges as we let God lead us to the next point. His ultimate plan is fulfilling our God-given purpose. His purposes aren’t served, however, only at our journey’s end but all along the way. We may not see the fullness of His design now, but as we put Him first each day, we fulfill His plan at each stop, as well as along that trajectory to the next point.
Not perceiving the big picture doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.
When I was teenager, my brother and I loved to tease our younger sister. A few blocks from our home in Shreveport, Louisiana, a magnificent museum was being constructed on several lush acres of prime real estate. Construction seemed to take years. Every time we passed this beautiful structure taking shape, we told my sister that was our new home, built just for us. When the RW Norton Art Gallery was finally completed, you can imagine her disappointment when we didn’t move in!
The Kingdom of God doesn’t disappoint, and it truly is built for God’s children. But like a museum, we tend to visit there rather than what we’re supposed to do:
This Kingdom isn’t just a beautiful place to observe. It is where we can live in God’s presence, enjoying close communion, and walking out His desires for us, step by step, day by day.
Kingdom living is an attainable dream.
Though we experience challenging times of growing, failing, learning, and sometimes getting it right, we will begin to walk in victory. The Kingdom of God isn’t about us or our ability to succeed anyway; it’s about Him and His sovereign Lordship.
I’ve never lost the wonder; it just got misplaced at times.
As a child of twelve, I was hard to impress. A family vacation to the West Coast meant multiple stops at the historical markers across America. Yawn. Museums and roadside attractions. Double yawn.
I was not expecting the wonder; I expected another yawn. How can we adequately anticipate the delight of something we’ve never experienced?
The Grand Canyon. No yawn. Eye-popping amazement.
Waves of awe hit me, and I was fully awake, fully alive. What a spectacular chasm in the earth! My twelve-year-old self was impressed and forever struck by possibilities I had never imagined. Majestic places existed which I had never fathomed but nevertheless were real and discover-able.
Something inside me shifted that day, like hitting a reset button. My yearning for wonder was hard-wired in. I could never be satisfied with less.
Psalm 40:5 says, “Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare.”
Our pastor for many years, Denny Duron at Shreveport Community Church, encouraged this wonder: “The measure of your wonder is equal to your ability to reach your potential and the desires of your heart.”
God wants our journey to be enjoyable and playing by His rules will give the trip a framework filled with joy. At each new crossroad, let God direct which path is His choice for you. God cares about the journey as much as reaching the goal line. Sure, His ultimate destination for us is heaven, but Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly now.
This principle is a vital for our faith journey:
Pursue the Wonder.
The Wonder isn’t an object or a place, but a who -- Jesus Christ.
Wonder means, “a cause of astonishment or admiration; marvel; miracle; the quality of exciting, amazed admiration; rapt attention or astonishment at something awesomely mysterious or new to one’s experience.”
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33
Pursue Jesus with all your heart. Pursue Him first, before any other important aspect of your being. Before education. Before your career. Before being married. Before your spouse. Before your family. Before your children. Before fame, fortune, or comfort. Before ministry. Before your next breath.
Pursuing wonder doesn’t mean we won’t have mundane, or even painful, moments while we walk with God. But we can allow our wonder to deepen in the challenging seasons -- running to Him rather than hiding ourselves from Him. Remind yourself of His wonderful person and His marvelous works. Keep the beauty of His majesty in your sights.
Find your wonder in Jesus.
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