May 15, 2011

Are We Awake to God's Wonders?


“Therefore they said to Him, ‘What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do?’” (John 6:30).


Sometimes we adopt an almost demanding attitude toward God, insisting that God declare God’s self to us more openly. The problem, however, is not that God has not shown enough of God’s self to us, but that we’ve not opened our eyes to the wonders God has shown. We need to learn to be more open and attentive to God’s marvelous work in at least three areas.

Creation. Promising deliverance to the people of Judah, God spoke of God’s creative power: “I will open rivers in desolate heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. I will plant in the wilderness the cedar and the acacia tree, the myrtle and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the cypress tree and the pine and the box tree together, that they may see and know, and consider and understand together, that the hand of the Lord has done this, and the Holy One of Israel has created it” (Isaiah 41:18-20). We too need to “see and know” what God's hand has done.

Redemption. What we see of our Creator's work ought to make us eager to see God’s greater work as our Savior. “Remember me, O Lord, with the favor You have toward Your people; Oh, visit me with Your salvation, that I may see the benefit of Your chosen ones, that I may rejoice in the gladness of Your nation, that I may glory with Your inheritance” (Psalm 106:4,5).

Revelation. Nowhere, except in the very person of God’s Son, has God shown God’s glory any more than in God’s word. But we study the Scriptures drowsily and much of the wonder of God’s word is lost on us. We need wake up and pay attention! “Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law” (Psalm 119:18).

Our fervent prayer ought to be for help in taking in what God has delivered to us. Our shrunken vessels are too small to hold a worthy portion of God’s glory. “Grant us, we pray thee, a heart wide open to all this joy and beauty, and save our souls from being so steeped in care, or so darkened by passion, that we pass heedless and unseeing when even the thornbush by the wayside is aflame with the glory of God” (Walter Rauschenbusch).

“Only that day dawns to which we are awake” (Henry David Thoreau).