They who dwell in the ends of the earth stand in awe of Your signs; You make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy. Psalm 65:8
For the Lord is God, and he created the heavens and earth and put everything in place.
He made the world to be lived in, not to be a place of empty chaos.
“I am the Lord,” he says, “and there is no other." Isaiah 45:18
During my junior year of college, I had the opportunity to travel to Ireland on a cross-cultural trip. Everything about this experience was a treasure: the people were welcoming, the history was rich, and the food made my belly oh so happy.
But, nothing compared to the scenic landscape: The Cliffs of Moher, Ring of Kerry, The Giant’s Causeway, Killarney, Coral Beach in Galway, just to name a few. From the brilliant green hills and dramatic cliffs to the magnificent castles and charming villages, the Emerald Isle serves as one of the most beautiful places in the world.
A picture from the trip used to sit on an end table in my bedroom. I know it sounds cliché, but the photo doesn’t do the view justice. It fails to capture the beauty that took my breath away almost twenty years ago. My memory escapes me regarding the specific location of the snapshot, but I can recall very vividly taking in that view for the first time.
Being a chronic worrier who tends to overthink things, I had a lot on my mind and heart that day. In an attempt to process what I was thinking and feeling, I separated myself from our school group. Lost in my little world, I headed up a side trail and eventually sat down with my head in my hands. Something prompted me with these words, “You’ve spent too much time looking down…the time has come to look up.”
And when I did just that and noticed the beauty before me, I began to weep – tears of joy, tears of relief, tears of thankfulness. I stood in awe of a God who not only created this view but created me. If He put so much effort and time to carve out the cliffs, splash color on the hills, and hold back the power of the sea by utilizing sand, I realized He cared for me as well.
Just like the photo I took that day has faded over time, so has my tendency to carve out moments to marvel at God. “Life” often wins out. In our hyper-competitive, super-driven culture, taking the time to be still, worship, and stand in awe of God seems counterproductive.
But, it’s the exact opposite. We’re wired to worship, and when we fail to do so, we aren’t living by our design. The chase for fulfillment, security, and purpose isn’t found in the hustle and bustle of this world, but rather in those moments of wonder and reflection.
They reframe our perspective about who is indeed in control. They remind us of the care and intention He took in forming us. They provide peace and rest in the chaos. They enlarge our view of our Creator and confirm that He alone is worthy of our worship. They encourage us to stop being consumed by our tiny kingdom and start living for something more significant than ourselves.
Even though the world He created screams His name, it doesn’t take a picturesque scene to marvel at Him. As we go about our day, opportunities to worship and stand in awe are all around us. All we have to do is pay attention. Wonder always leads to worship.
When was the last time you had an awe-inspiring moment that made you say, “WOW!” and caused you to worship God? How did this experience expand your view of Him as well as influence your heart?
How can you ensure having “awe” moments are a priority throughout your days?
God, I’m left speechless when I consider the work of Your hands. You are an artist like no other. Open my eyes to the beauty of Your creation. Help me to see You in everything around me. Let me worship You as a response to these moments of wonder. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.