By Whitney Hopler, Crosswalk.com
“… stop and consider God’s wonders.” Job 37:14 (NIV)
Christmas is my favorite time of year because it emphasizes God’s wonders. Ironically, though, Christmas wonder can elude us because Christmas is often the busiest time of year. The Christmas season can get so stressful that we can easily become distracted from God’s wonders around us. Job 37:14 emphasizes something that’s key to noticing God’s wonders: stopping. We have to be intentional about stopping our activities long enough to be able to notice God’s wondrous presence with us. We must choose to stop to connect with God and appreciate the awe-inspiring moments God brings into our lives. If we don’t stop, we may miss moments of wonder during Christmas and every other season. But when we pause long enough to focus our attention fully on God, our perspective becomes greater, and we can discover the wonder of God’s work in our lives.
This invitation to pause, reflect, and contemplate the wonders of God’s work resonates deeply in our souls. It’s a call to step away from our rushing and make time to immerse ourselves in transcendent moments that show us glimpses of God. When we’re dealing with the stress of a busy season, it's easy to get swept away by the demands of the world around us. We often find ourselves caught up in the rhythm of tasks and responsibilities, moving from one moment to the next without taking the time to pause and reflect. Yet, in the midst of our busyness, God beckons us with a gentle whisper through the words of Job 37:14 to stop and consider his wonders around us.
Job was a man who faced intense suffering. He lost his health, his wealth, and his family. Yet he never lost his faith in God. As Job wrestled with grief, a man named Elihu stepped forward – inspired by the Holy Spirit – and directed Job’s attention to the wonders of God’s creation. The words God’s Spirit spoke through Elihu are now recorded in this Bible verse to encourage us all. In this fallen world, we all encounter seasons of difficult challenges. God invites us to pause and reach out for him, just as Elihu encouraged Job to do. When the storms of life rage around us, God calls us to stop and consider his wonders. It’s a divine interruption – a moment to shift our focus from our temporary circumstances to our eternal God.
There are many ways to consider God’s wonders and all of them are enjoyable!
One of the most powerful ways is to spend time outside in nature. Romans 1:20 points out that creation reveals the Creator’s wonders: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” We can watch a sunrise or sunset, take a wonder walk on a nature trail, stargaze at night, and much more. In all kinds of weather, we can explore diverse natural settings that each can reveal something wonderful about God’s qualities to us. Natural wonders are like the fingerprints of our loving Creator. When we stop to consider them, we learn more about God’s boundless creativity and inspiring characteristics.
God has created light and sound to be foundational aspects of our universe. The Christmas season brings us lots of opportunities to consider God’s wonders through light and sound – from Christmas lights that point to God as the Light of the World to Christmas music that celebrates the joy of God’s presence with us.
We can discover the wonder of God’s work in our lives everywhere we look for it. God’s wonders shine through the people in our lives, the opportunities we’ve been given, and the beauty in the world. They’re in the transformative power of God’s love, the grace that forgives our sins, and the hope that anchors our souls. So, let’s stop regularly to reflect on God’s wonders. Let’s pause each day to thank God for the wonders around us – both big and small.
Dear God, I’m in awe of your wondrous works. I marvel at the beauty and complexity of your creation, from the tiniest flower to the vast expanse of the universe. I’m filled with joy when I experience transcendent moments, from watching a sunset to listening to music. Thank you for revealing your power and majesty through wonders too numerous to count. Help me to incorporate breaks into my busy schedule so I can stop and consider your wonders. Open my mind and heart to see glimpses of you in all that surrounds me. May I never take your gifts for granted, but appreciate them on a regular basis. In your wonderful name, amen.
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Alasdair Elmes
Whitney Hopler is the author of the Wake Up to Wonder book and the Wake Up to Wonder blog, which help people thrive through experiencing awe. She leads the communications work at George Mason University’s Center for the Advancement of Well-Being. Whitney has served as a writer, editor, and website developer for leading media organizations, including Crosswalk.com, The Salvation Army USA’s national publications, and Dotdash.com (where she produced a popular channel on angels and miracles). She has also written the young adult novel Dream Factory. Connect with Whitney on X/Twitter and on Facebook.
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