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In 2009 my friend, Alece Ronzino, created One Word 365.  The goal was and is to forget the new year’s resolutions and focus on One Word.  I began choosing “one word” a few years ago; my words have included hope and abide. And this year: wonder.

After praying and begging God for a word (for almost three months!), I found my word tucked in a paragraph in Common Prayer: May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you: wherever He may send you; may he guide you through the wilderness: protect you through the storm; may he bring you home rejoicing: at the wonders he has shown you; may he bring you home rejoicing: once again into our door.

After a few difficult years I felt ready for WONDER.  Doesn’t that word seem exciting?  It means…a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable; to feel admiration and amazement; marvel; rapt attention or astonishment at something awesomely mysterious or new to one’s experience; a feeling of doubt or uncertainty. EXCITING!

I looked forward to a year of admiration and amazement. Little did I know that God was beginning with the last definition: a feeling of doubt or uncertainty. Boo.  As the year progressed I began to doubt.  Doubt God, doubt church. Doubt who I am.  Doubt if I really knew and loved Jesus or if I just desired to be good.

I began picking apart and analyzing every single area of my faith.  It wasn’t all “wonder” and “amazement” – at all.  There was ick and bad theology – unforgiveness and selfishness – misplaced motives and bitter roots.  I actually stood in “wonder” of what I found (guess I’d been a bit delusional).  I’d been wrapped up in religion so long that I was unaware of how I listened so much to others and so little to my Father.  My faith had become so rigid and ruling that I had missed…. the wonder.

Isn’t it awesome how He works?  He began with wonder and led me to wonder.

At the wonders He has shown you...I began noticing ordinary things more and more. The holding of a Daddy’s hand.  The sunset over the river. The twins in front of me at a football game. The way my son’s brain works. The grace of my daughter.  The loyalty of a friend. Wonder everywhere…Jesus everywhere.

All obvious and available as soon as I took the first step toward wonder and chose to look outside of me.

I just read that God created our brains to engage on the right then left.  We engage our creative and wonder side then our logical side…until we are educated not to.  That is, until we are culturally conditioned to be logical first.

I’d lost my wonder. I’d thrown out my “right brain” in favor of the left brain – in favor of safe and “wise.”  I’d forgotten the amazing of Jesus, of Creation, of Father God and His Holy Spirit.

God caused me to wonder, so I’d seek. Seek so I’d find Him.  Find Him so I’d stand in wonder and amazement.

On this journey to knowing Jesus and delighting in Him – and Him alone – I am overwhelmed with wonder, and I pray you are too.  My life’s song has become….

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

Open the eyes of our heart to see you God

May we never lose our wonder…

We give our lives to sing

Cause you are beautiful in all your ways

You fascinate us with who you are

You fascinate us with your love

You are beautiful

You are glorious

Yes you are…

May we never lose our wonder  (lyrics from Bethel Music)

I read these words – I sing these words back to my Creator – and I know that I want a heart that beats to know Jesus.  More and more and more.  Not to keep rules or have right behavior. Not to serve out of obligation.  Not to love because He says so, but because it flows naturally from my love for Him.

To live in wonder and to stand in awe. To live with a desire for more and more Jesus – loving Him and all His people.

Friends, today I pray you live in wonder – that you stand in admiration, amazement, and astonishment when you think of Jesus and the cross.  When you consider what He did for you at Calvary and how He continues to seek you – to pull you closer and closer to Him.  Throughout scripture we see God wanting to dwell with his people – with YOU and IN you.  How could we not marvel at a Creator whose love never fails, who never gives up on us, who died and took our sin and shame and condemnation?

Wide-eyed and mystified, may we be just like a child staring at the beauty of King Jesus, giving our LIVES to sing His praise with fascination. Lord, open our hearts to see you today.

With Wonder,

Sarah and the WOP Team

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Wonder by Bethel Music

Listen here.

 

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Wonder-Full Resources

Because we can’t find wonder if we aren’t willing to take the first step…

The Gate is Open by Jen Hatmaker:  Why do we think we only deserve the coop when God gave us the whole yard? We are loved by a God of freedom and liberation and adventure and meaning. Run like the wind!  There is so much life out there, so much to see, so much to experience, so much space to heal and find your legs again and run.

Because we can’t live in wonder if we aren’t open to God’s way…

It Might Be the Way God Wants to Heal You by Lisa Whittle: Sometimes, the way we do not expect, God uses to heal us. The finances we cannot figure out…the things we think we give up for Him…the ways we believe we sacrifice to serve: so often, it’s mostly for us. To think that He goes to such length to save us – often, save us from ourselves – that He will use the very thing we don’t want to be our healer…is a humbling, amazing Jesus reality that most of the time we resist but need more desperately than we know.

 

Because the Bible is a STORY full of wonder…

It’s Not What You Think by Jefferson Bethke: Jesus was most upset at people for seeing but not seeing. For missing it. For succumbing to the danger and idolatry of forcing God into preconceived ideals. What if there were a better way? What if Jesus came not to help people escape the world but rather to restore it?

“Christians have the greatest story ever told but we aren’t telling it.” In this book, Bethke tells that story anew, presenting God’s truths from the Old and the New Testaments as the challenging and compelling story that it is—a grand narrative with God at the center. And in doing so, Bethke reminds readers of the life-changing message of Jesus that turned the world upside-down, a world that God is putting back together.

 

Because wonder-full living comes from wholeness…

{W}hole by Lisa Whittle: We all have holes in our lives―those things we lament about ourselves. Those things we allow to define us in ways we don’t like. Those things that keep us from living the life God wants for us. But what if you discovered that the holes in your life are really the things that will ultimately make you . . . well, whole? In Whole, Lisa calls you to take an honest look at your holes, discover how to fill them with God’s presence, and get to a real and vibrant place of wholeness.

 

Because we can’t stop and notice the wonder if life is crazy…

The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst:  Are you living with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule and aching with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul? In this book, Lysa helps you: Cure the disease to please with a biblical understanding of the command to love. Escape the guilt of disappointing others by learning the secret of the small no. Overcome the agony of hard choices by embracing a wisdom based decision-making process. Rise above the rush of endless demands and discover your best yes today.

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