Astonishing and Amazing

July 2009


Steve CoxA few of my friends are really into the latest electronic gadgets. I imagine you know some people like this as well. Maybe you are even one of these people, which is fine with me. I do find it fascinating when they show me all the things the latest phone, television, computer, or whatever, can do. I even find it downright amazing how much information, or function, can be packed into such a small device. But what I find very interesting is how quickly we lose our sense of amazement at these devices when we have owned them for just a short while, or especially when an even more amazing device comes along.
As I have been reading through the gospels lately, the number of times the authors use the words “astonished” and “amazed” has stood out to me. The crowds, the leaders, and the disciples were all astonished and amazed by Jesus. They were astonished and amazed at His knowledge, His wisdom, His words, His teaching, His questions, His answers, His actions, His power, His authority, and His miracles. Pilate was amazed by his refusal to answer his accusers. The crowds were amazed that “he does all things well”. The disciples were amazed at Jesus’ resurrection. And people’s amazement with who Jesus is, what He says, and what He does in the gospels, leads the people to be filled with “praise to God”, and be “amazed at the greatness of God.” 
As I have been prayerfully reading these passages, I believe the Lord is asking me: “Are you still amazed and astonished with who I am, with what I am doing in your life, and with what I am doing in the world?” I can remember a number of times in my life when I have been utterly amazed and astonished by a deeper revelation, or encounter, with the God we love and serve, or by things He has done in my life, or the lives of others. But, in all honesty, there are significant portions of my life in which I have treated Jesus somewhat like one of those electronic gadgets that I have gotten too familiar with, and now take for granted.
I don’t think this question the Lord is asking me is a criticism, but is instead an encouragement from him. He wants me to regain the correct perspective, to make sure I am really focusing on His wisdom, power, and authority, so that I maintain an ongoing sense of awe and amazement at who He is and what He is doing. Only when I am relating to Him with a proper sense of wonder and amazement will I truly know Him as He really is. This summer, I plan to spend more personal time with our Lord and Savior, focusing on His amazing nature, on what He has done for all of us, what He has done for me personally, and what amazing ways He continues to display His power, authority, wisdom, and love in the world around us. As the Lord said to the prophet Habakkuk: “Look at the nations and watch— and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.” May we all be like the crowd who witnessed Jesus’ healing of the paralytic: “Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, ‘We have seen remarkable things today.’” The Lord has done, is doing, and will continue to do remarkable things in each of our lives. I hope we can all keep hold of a proper sense of astonishment and give ongoing praise to our amazing God.
Steve signature

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