I assured my husband it was not even half a mile down the path. He could certainly steel himself to the short hike in order to see “The World’s Largest Spruce Tree” couldn’t he?
Sure enough, around the bend, over the bridge… and there it stood in all of its wonder!
Traveling throughout our country, we have seen signs for a variety of manmade wonders: World’s Largest Golf Tee… or Knitting Needle… or Wind chime. These “Wonders of the World” will never compete with the pyramids, or the Great Wall or the Taj Mahal. But they certainly attract a host of visitors, nonetheless.
My husband and I are more apt to drive out of our way for natural wonders… the Grand Canyon… Niagara Falls… Crater Lake. My father even got us off the beaten path with his promise of a “Wonder” at Meteor Crater in Arizona. Dad always did enjoy gigantic holes in the ground!
I wonder sometimes about the messages I see on T-shirts and bags: World’s Best Dad; World’s Best Teacher. (I received that one, by the way!) In High School I sold “World’s Finest Chocolate” bars for our choir’s fundraiser. I really doubt if anyone could verify the authenticity of any of those claims. They are wonderful affirmations, though!
There’s a lot to wonder about in this world. We wonder if… why… when… how… who…where… what. This wondering is the basis of science and its quest to understand the mysteries of the universe. It’s what keeps imagination and creativity alive. How boring life would be without wondering!
Curiosity, however can lead to either a marvelous discovery or an unpleasant result. I know my children were often determined to test out just about everything I warned them not to touch or try on their own. Of course I was quick to comfort their tears even though I was tempted to say, “I told you so!”
I do know that God didn’t sit around doing a lot of wondering. “I wonder what will happen if I…?” or “I wonder if I should bother saving these people that seem to be determined to mess up their lives?” God never wondered. We're not some experiment to play around with. He knows exactly what will happen. And He has done some astonishing things!
The wonders in the Bible are so numerous, both in the Old and New Testaments. There are the plagues in Egypt, and all of the amazing interventions during the Exodus and forty years of wandering. Over and over we are reminded of God’s power. And then came Jesus’ miracles of healing, creating food and wine, bringing people back to life.
One would think that would be enough for the whole world to recognize the one true God. But no. God’s wonders amazed Pharaoh, but that didn’t lead him to honor or obey God. The Jewish leaders wondered aloud at Jesus’ miracles, but that didn’t stop them from plotting to destroy Him.
Of course God warns us that He isn’t the only one who can do wonders that amaze us (See Deut. 13:1-3 and Mt. 24:24). He wants us to not be so astonished by these wonders that we don’t test the spirits to see if it really is coming from our Lord.
Today we still are amazed at God’s creation and the stories of His involvement in the world He fashioned. But too often I’m like Gideon who basically told God, “Pardon me, but if you are who you say you are and keep telling me you are with me, then why do these bad things keep happening?” (See Judges 6:12-14) I too know the promises that Jesus made, but sometimes the reality of this world is too overwhelming.
But then again when I concentrate on the reality of who my God truly is… and what He is doing in my life… and how He is blessing me and those around me when I truly don’t deserve it… it’s almost too much wonderful to grasp.
What am I to do about all of these wonders anyway? Just stand there with my mouth open and say, “Wow! Will wonders never cease?”
No. First of all, I am to remind others, especially my friends and family, about all of the wonders God has done in the past and will continue to do. And when I’m tempted to question the Lord, “Hey! We could use some wonders right now!” He reminds me, just as he did Gideon, that He is sending me into the fray to be part of the wonders He has planned.
And especially my attention needs to be focused completely on the wonders that are new every day so that I am not doubtful, or just curious or surprised, but overwhelmed by “The Wonder of His love.”
For He is called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace! (Isaiah 9:6 KJV) No wonder He’s my Savior!