“Oh, my word, it’s just so beautiful!” These were the words that came out of my foster son’s mouth the morning after I put up our Christmas tree. He woke up to a sparkling tree in our living room. When he came stumbling out of his room in his pajamas, it took his breath away. I found my 8-year-old standing in front of it just staring. He could not get enough of it. “Oh, Mel, we have to have a star! There is always a star.”
“Auntie Mo, Bogey just kissed me on the lips, and now we’re married!” This was the declaration my 4-year-old niece made after our puppy expressed his deep love for her through his kisses.
“I made this for you, Miss Mel, because you’re so beautiful. It’s a picture of you!” These are the words that accompanied one of the rougher sketches of myself a child has ever drawn. From my frizzy hair down to my tiny feet, the picture certainly was a showstopper.
Created for Wonder
One of the things I love most about kids is their wonder. Everything and anything can be magical and amazing. The most mundane can turn into the spectacular. It’s not that they purposely try to find wonder, it’s that they can’t help but be in awe of things. From Christmas trees to puppies to their favorite people—they are in awe.
The simple reality is we were all created for wonder. God designed us with wonder, and our wonder is what draws us to Him. All of God’s creation speaks of Him, and it is full of wonder.
“The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world” (Psalm 19:1-4)
A Time to Relearn
As adults, we have a lot to relearn about wonder. Somewhere along the way, many of us have forgotten to wonder. We get busy, jaded, or wounded, and often our wonder is the first thing to go.
When is the last time you were in awe of the fact that God made you for a purpose? When is the last time you allowed your heart to skip a beat over the fact that you are created in the image of God, and you are loved by Him? Nothing you can or can’t do will ever disqualify you from His love. That should cause wonder!
The beauty of wonder is it draws us in, and, in turn, it draws others in. As my foster son sat and stared at our Christmas tree, I could not help but join him. His wonder was so encompassing, I was drawn to it. I paused my endless laundry folding and sat with him and stared quietly at the sparkling lights. No words were needed as we allowed ourselves to simply be awed.
Reclaim the Pursuit of Wonder
In The Message version of Psalm 111:2, it says, “God’s works are so great, worth a lifetime of study—endless enjoyment!”
The issue is not that there is nothing to wonder about, it is that we have stopped allowing ourselves to wonder. Let me give you a few ideas for recapturing the wonder in your own life.
Ask for It
It may sound simple, but try asking the Holy Spirit to give you wonder. The very exercise of asking is part of positioning yourself to be aware of wonder. The Holy Spirit loves to do transformative work in our lives and rekindling wonder is extremely transformative.
Create Pause for It
Genesis 1:31 “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.”
God paused and took count, and then He affirmed it. Create space in your days to look around and affirm the wonder that you see. Is it a beautiful sunset? A kind text? Undeserved grace from a friend? Recognize it and enjoy it.
Go Out of Your Way to Find It
“Mel, can you come here? Hurry!” my foster son yelled from the living room a few days ago. I hurried over, “Look at that sunset. It’s so beautiful.” He had opened the blinds wide to present to me the pink sky. He had gone out of his way to watch for the sunset because he knows they’re my favorite.
If finding wonder right in front of you is especially challenging, go searching for it. God has never not revealed Himself to those who seek Him.
Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
Allow Wonder Back In
Finally, my friends, may I remind you that you yourselves are a wonder-filled reflection of God? Created in His image, on purpose for a purpose. He did His best work on you. From the tip of your hair to the tip of your toes, you are wonderful.
As you embrace wonder, I guarantee you’ll help those around you do so as well. Wonder draws us in and draws others in. The kids you serve, the volunteers you lead, the parents you guide, the family you love; may your wonder trickle down and out onto them.
Just like a child who gasps with delight when they encounter a butterfly, may you find yourself gasping in wonder at the goodness of the God who created you. Allow wonder back in.