It was a beautiful Sunday morning. Light streamed in through the windows, making the cozy, family-like atmosphere of the little church even more inviting. As the pastor began speaking, the congregation leaned in, eager to hear his message. Suddenly, loud sobbing disrupted the service. Everyone turned to see who was crying.
A little boy with Down syndrome, a boy who was usually happy and friendly to everyone, wailed “I don’t know why God loves me! Why does God love me?!” He wept and wept and the entire congregation sat transfixed, staring in awe as this little boy, so poor in the eyes of the world, taught us all a valuable lesson. There in the middle of the service that little boy reminded us of the wonder of God’s love for us.
I have known God loves me for as long as I can remember. It is such a basic truth, on the level of 2+2=4, that I forget how incredible, how absolutely mind-blowing it is. I don’t stop in utter wonder and awe and ask, “Why does God love me?” This truth has become commonplace in my life.
What a dreadful mistake!
In his song entitled “Mercy”, Matt Redman wrote, “May I never lose the wonder, Oh the wonder of your mercy.”
Losing the wonder of what God has done for us is one of the gravest mistakes a Christian can make. If we instead remember all of our unworthiness and sin we will be overwhelmed and amazed by the love of God for us.
The wonder of God’s love is what drives us to love and worship him. It should drive our service. It is what keeps us from legalism and from laziness in our Christian lives.
When we see who we really are, destitute and unworthy without Christ, his love and sacrifice will make us all the more thankful. As Jesus said, it is the one who is forgiven much who loves much (Luke 7:47). We have all been forgiven much, but some of us have forgotten the wonder of that forgiveness.
If you find that you are lukewarm or apathetic in your Christian life, I guarantee you have lost the wonder of the mercy of God toward you.
If we examine our own hearts, many of us will discover we have lost the wonder. How on earth can we get it back?
1. Hang out with people who have it.
Small children, people with disabilities, and new Christians often have the wonder we lack.
When I was in Bible college, there were a few students who were new Christians. Their excitement was contagious. Passages of Scripture that had become old and familiar to me were captivating to them. They got excited over the promises and truths of Scripture.
As I watched their reaction to the truths of God, I realized their response was right and mine was wrong. I needed what they had. I needed the wonder of God’s love for me and his promises to me.
2. Remember Who You are and Who God is
I love the Song of Solomon. Some of the language is rather strange, but I love the story.
As we read, we discover the maiden is a shepherdess and a vinedresser. These were the two lowest jobs in Israel. In other words, this woman was a peasant, the lowest of the low, the poorest of the poor. She was not eligible. There was no reason for a king to notice her and yet that is exactly what happened. The king loved her, wooed her, and married her.
This is a profound picture of our relationship with Christ. We are the lowest of the low; we have nothing to offer. We are sinners, empty and broken, not even worthy to tie the sandals of Jesus.
Yet Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, took notice of us. He sought us out, paying the ultimate price in order to have a relationship with us.
This is amazing.
If we remember who we are and who he is, it is impossible not to be astounded by his incredible love.
3. Start Giving Thanks
As believers, we have so much to be thankful for. God has showered his love and mercy upon us, but all too often the chaos of this world overwhelms us and crowds out thoughts of God and his goodness. God has richly blessed us, but it is easy to lose sight of this truth.
Thankfulness is a discipline each of us should practice. When we choose to give thanks, we will be reminded of how amazing and wonderful God’s love and mercy toward us truly are.
Too often, we look at this kind of wonder as childish. We feel that we are mature and have grown out of it. Maybe it is childish, but God calls us to have the faith of children. I believe we should gain the wonder of children as well.
Cultivate wonder in your life. Spend time with those who have this wonder. Remember who you are and who your God is. Give thanks to him.
We are the people of God, redeemed and washed by his blood, recipients of his mercy, his grace, and his love, children adopted into his family. May this truth continually astound us and fill our hearts with awe. May we never lose the wonder of the love and mercy of God toward us.