Wonder… I heard two sermons the Sunday before Advent that talked about wonder. My soul resonated a hearty yes to wonder... I was thinking that was my word for December. I was going to get a break from persevere, and be awed by wonder. The next week my husband preached the first Sunday of Advent and talked about asking God to restore wonder to us. We forget and get lost in easy access to knowledge, and busyness that we forget to sit in wonder and awe of what this season represents, and all the details of it. Check, I am way ahead of you honey, I asked God for that last week.
When I came home I looked up the word wonder so I could get some good verses, and better understanding of wonder. Since I had not picked a specific Advent devotional I thought this was it, wonder. I was excited. Only when I typed in “wonder” into an online Bible it is used as a noun quite a bit more than a verb, and surprisingly, or not surprisingly, it is God using the word and saying how He will use wonders to get someone’s attention, or how even if He sent signs and wonders the people would not believe. So I pulled out the old Webster’s Dictionary, (okay, I typed it into the search engine) and got “desire to know something, to be curious, feel admiration and amazement, marvel.” For some reason this was not what I wanted. It did not sit right. It felt a bit lackluster for some reason. As I sat still, and wondered about my lack of wonder, or what I thought the wonder would be like, I started piecing together how God was meeting my prayer of growing wonder, it just looks different. I guess I wanted something magical and mystical. I am not sure I can completely put words to it, but I felt like it was just not coming the way I had imagined.
Then I was reminded of what did come this past week, “Be still and know that I am God,” (Psalm 46:10) and “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:14). The book I am reading, and have been sharing about, True You has much about intentional stillness and silence. So I typed “be still” into the search engine of biblegateway, and many verses came up, obviously the famous one Psalm 46:10 but many others
And Moses said unto them, Stand still, and I will hear what the LORD will command concerning you. Numbers 9:8
Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.
Be still before the LORD, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling. Zechariah 2:13
Then Nehemiah told them, “Go and eat what is rich, drink what is sweet, and send out portions to those who have nothing prepared, since today is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” 11And the Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be still, since today is holy. Do not grieve.” Nehemiah 8:11
And lastly, the one that showed me my missing piece, “Listen to this, Job; stand still and consider the wonders of God.” (Job 37:14) Stand still and consider… this is not just about being still, although that is where we will come to know God; this is not just about standing still, although that is where we will see God’s hand move on our behalf, it is about taking time to be still, stand still, and consider… the dictionary listed synonyms for wonder: “ponder, think about, meditate on, reflect on, muse on, puzzle over, speculate about, conjecture; be curious about.” You cannot do these words when you are moving at breakneck speed, you cannot do it by just sitting and letting your mind run around. It is an intentional, focused being still, and looking for God, wondering about what He was doing and the amazement of it. I can tell you about it, but to be still, and really think about things is different.
Today the sermon was on Micah 5:2 that predicted Jesus being born in Bethlehem 700 years before. When the angels came to Mary and Joseph neither was in Bethlehem, but God moved the mind of a Caesar to orchestrate and fulfill His promise. That is amazing. Too many times I listen and know, and my mind races to the rest of the story, or to the other scriptures that I know are related and miss the wonder. I forget to stop and be still with it, to stand and look for God’s hand and all the details He worked out, over 800. I forget to think about real people walking this out, and choosing to trust God with all the details that He did not share with them. Not much made sense, if you enter the story and walk each moment in their sandals. Yet, they had a sense of wonder and awe that allowed then to trust and see God bring all this to fruition. I want that, so I continue to pray for a sense of wonder, and I am now asking God to show me what that looks like, and choosing to stop, be still, stand still, and consider the wonders that God has done, and asking Him to help me not miss the wonders available at this moment in time, if I am fully present to His presence.