Lost in wonder

Have you ever been lost? Really lost? You suddenly realise that you have no idea where you are, how to get where you are going, or how to get back to where you’ve come from. Panic sets in. Help!

That’s bad lost.

But there is a good lost. It is, as Charles Wesley’s well-known hymn puts it, to be “Lost in wonder, love and praise!”

These were the words that came to mind as I watched the video of Constant One in my last post. To me, the lead singer, Steffany Gretzinger who wrote the song, is so much in love with God that she is lost. Look at her body language. She is worshipping the One she loves, lost in wonder, love and praise. It moves me to worship too!

Wesley’s hymn looks forward to the time when we will be lost in His presence in heaven, but also encourages us to praise Him now, too.

Pray, and praise thee, without ceasing,
Glory in thy perfect love.

Charles Wesley – Love divine, all loves excelling

Wonder is a good aid to this.

It’s still dark outside my house and the night is clear. The stars are bright and I can see several constellations, though name only a few.

I am reminded of the Psalms:

Psalm 19

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Psalm 8

When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?

David, once a shepherd boy and later King of Israel, wrote these lines. With no light pollution, he must have had a wonderful view of the stars! But he didn’t take them for granted; they made him wonder. Wonder at a God who made all this yet cares for us.

We must wonder too, or it will be hard to get lost. And we must get lost. Lost in His presence. Lost in wonder, love and praise! It’s what we’re made for!

May we never lose our wonder!

May we never lose our wonder
Wide eyed and mystified
May we be just like a child
Staring at the beauty of our King

Fill us with wonder!

‘Cause you are beautiful in all your ways
King of Kings
You are beautiful in all your ways

Just close your eyes, you’ll see him
You are beautiful in all your ways
Open the eyes of our heart to see you God

May we never lose our wonder!

Constant One

It seems that there is not much stability in our world these days; all the things we thought were a given, no longer are.

Terrorism has invaded Europe, from Paris to Nice, Brussels, Istanbul and Ankara, Munich … and on and on. Not to mention – but we should – Pakistan, Syria, Egypt, Nigeria, Mali, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Schools, cinemas and shopping malls are not always the places of safety they once were.

Seeing news of another attack the other morning, I found myself thinking that perhaps the end of the world as we know it, perhaps even Jesus’ return, was really close. But then this phrase came to mind, “These things must take place, but the end is not yet.”

While He was sitting on the  Mount of Olives, the disciples approached Him privately and said, “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what is the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?”
Then Jesus replied to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you.   For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the  Messiah,’ and they will deceive many.  You are going to hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that you are not alarmed, because these things must take place, but the end is not yet.   For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines, and earthquakes in various places.  All these events are the beginning of birth pains.

Matthew 24:3-8

But it’s not just wars and rumours of wars.

The noble ideals of the Olympic Games are now tainted by state-sponsored doping.

Major car manufacturers like Volkswagen are found to have cheated on emissions tests.

The referendum that was supposed simply to secure David Cameron another term as Prime Minister has resulted in a situation that has shaken world economies and threatens to break up the European Union as factions in other Member States clamour for their own referenda.

Presidential candidates – not to mention a certain foreign minister – are not what you’d have expected even a few years ago. Some are laughable.

Then there’s a major coup in Turkey, an important member of NATO and critical to the Syrian refugee crisis – a coup which sometimes reads like an excuse to round up thousands of political opponents.

All this reminds me of the verse that talks about the removal of everything that can be shaken.

When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: “Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.” This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakeable things will remain.

Hebrews 12:26-27

 

But now for the good news! The writer to the Hebrews goes on to point out that God’s Kingdom is unshakeable!

Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakeable, let us be thankful and please God by worshipping him with holy fear and awe.

Hebrews 12:28

If we’re looking for a solid foundation for our lives in troubled times, Jesus gives us the answer:

“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.   Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”

Matthew 7:24-27

And then there is Paul’s reassuring promise that God is faithful even when we are not!

If we are unfaithful,
he remains faithful,
for he cannot deny who he is.

2 Timothy 2:13

And this well-known verse from Lamentations which declares that His mercies are new every morning: “Great is His faithfulness”.

I will never forget this awful time,
as I grieve over my loss.
Yet I still dare to hope
when I remember this:
The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
therefore, I will hope in him!”

Lamentations 3:20-24

So if you woke up to more bad news this morning, don’t panic, the end is not yet.

Rather, remember this: Great is his faithfulness;  his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;  therefore, I will hope in him!”

In the words of this wonderful song by Steffany Gretzinger, He is the Constant One and we can depend on Him.

 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Hebrews 13:8