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Posts Tagged ‘Praising God’

 

Generations ago, an ancestor of pastor Fred Craddock suggested that Sunday afternoons be spent on nature walks to find and admire God’s handiwork. He called it, “going marveling (1).”

That phrase brought to mind the old Christmas carol, “Here We Come A-Wassailing.”  ‘Remember the first few lines?

 

Here we come a-wassailing

Among the leaves so green,

Here we come a-wand’ring

So fair to be seen.

 

If we’d accompanied Pastor Craddock’s forbearers on one of those woodland hikes, perhaps we would have sung:

 

Here we go a-marveling

Among the leaves so green,

All around creation charms;

Such fairness to be seen.

 

Indeed, our God of wonders provides fairness (as a synonym for splendor) in countless ways:

 

from the majestic…

 

 

…to the minute,

 

 

From the firm…

 

 

…to the fragile,

 

 

From the colorful…

 

 

…to the camouflaged.

 

 

“Wows come in all shapes and sizes.”

–Anne Lamott

 

But there are many more sources of jaw-dropping awe that deserve our attention.

We can go a-marveling at the wonder of us.

Consider these wows:

  • Approximately sixty thousand miles of blood vessels course through the human body—enough to wrap the earth more than twice (2).
  • Blood travels 12,000 miles per day through the vascular system.  That’s equivalent to the distance from coast to coast across the U.S.—four times (3).
  • Human hemoglobin that makes our blood red is made up of extremely complex molecules. Each contains 9520 atoms of various elements, hooked together in a precise pattern (4).

 

 

Hemoglobin Molecule

 

Astounding, isn’t it?  And with King David we can certainly affirm:

 

 

We can go a-marveling through our memories. Perhaps you remember such delights as these: 

  • Coming in from the cold to be warmed by thick, hot soup and familial love around the table
  • Almost floating down the sidewalk on the first warm day of spring—with no coat or boots to weigh you down
  • A board game with friends—complete with popcorn and laughter

 

 

Even such ordinary events as these inspire wonder, because they point to a God who orchestrates satisfying moments into all our days.

We can also go a-marveling through the memories of miracles.

No doubt you’ve experienced spectacular moments such as these:

  • A new job provided just as the old one was terminated
  • The cost of a new refrigerator covered by a surprise check in the mail
  •  A baby born dangerously premature that not only survives but thrives

 

 

And while marveling at the miracles…

…We can go a-marveling at the wonder of prayer, which often precedes God’s astounding works.

First, our all-powerful God allows mere humans to come alongside him as he engineers events and accomplishes his good purposes.

Second, and even more marvelous, his Spirit comes alongside us as our partner in prayer, helping us pray as we should.

 

 

How wondrous is that?

Finally, we can go a-marveling through scripture.

The Bible was written by at least forty authors from different walks of life, over the span of 1500+ years, on three continents. No other book has come into existence out of such wide-reaching diversity. And yet the reader can’t help but notice the unity of its content.

Within the pages of scripture we find wisdom and inspiration for living, strength for difficulty, comfort for pain, and peace for unrest.

It’s true:  those who know their Bibles best, marvel at its truths the most. They notice “wonder after wonder, and every wonder true” (St. Brude).

 

 

And where might all this marveling lead?  To still more wonders:   stronger faith, deeper contentment, and greater joy.

 

*     *     *     *     *    *     *     *     *     *

 

Who is like you, O God—majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, continually working wonders? Our lives are FULL of marvels, O God!  May we be lost in wonder, love, and praise, just like the old hymn writer proclaimed. 

(Exodus 15:11; “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling” by Charles Wesley)

 

What are you marveling in today?  Tell us in the comment section below!

 

Notes:

  1. Fred B. Craddock, Craddock Stories, ed. Mike Graves and Richard F. Ward, p. 65.
  2. https://my.cleveleandclinic.org>health>articles>17059
  3. https://iheartintelligence.com/35-incredible-facts-about-the-human-body-that-might-surprise-you/
  4. John Phillips, Exploring John’s First Epistle, Kregel Publications, 2003, p. 36.

 

Art & photo credits:  http://www.pixabay.com (2); http://www.pxhere.com; http://www.usnhistory.navylive.dodlive.mil; http://www.maxpixel.net; http://www.flickr.com (2); http://www.wikipedia.org; http://www.heartlight.org; http://www.maxpixel.net; http://www.usafe.af.mil; http://www.dailyverses.net; http://www.needpix.com.

 

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(Following is a personalized version of Psalm 103:1-5. Scripture quotes are in bold type, personal worship-thoughts* are in regular type. Perhaps you’ll pray along?)

 

aPsalm103_1-3

 

1 Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.

2 Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits–

Oh, Lord, my heart overflows with love and gratitude for all you are to me and all you do for me. If I recorded these benefits, the volumes produced would surely fill a library.

But just as parents and grandparents are pleased when children say, “thank you,” I want to “praise your holy Name,” to extol you for the sum of all your attributes. In my life you have expressed your:

  • Power, by supplying my needs–sometimes in miraculous ways
  • Love and Goodness, with blessings beyond measure
  • Wisdom, as you’ve guided me day by day in the ways that are best for me
  • Patience, when I’ve been slow to learn and reluctant to obey
  • Mercy, by forgiving me of my sins, especially when I knew better
  • Faithfulness, with your constant presence and attention

May I always be mindful of your benefits, and vocal about them to others.

 

daily-bible-verse-1024x512

 

3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, 

May I never take for granted the horrific price you paid at Calvary with the life of your Son. May I never tire of praising you for making me a new creation, one who can be in relationship with you, the all-powerful God of the universe.

I praise you for being the Healer of all diseases, whether of body, soul, or spirit. You heal broken hearts, broken lives, broken relationships, broken minds—either instantaneously, over time, or when we’re transported to heaven.

 

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4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion 

I praise you that not only have you saved me from the pit of hell, but from the depths of depression, discouragement, and disappointment. You are “a redeeming God who is able to bring freshness to places that seem rotten and decayed” (Carole Ladd)—places like hurt, unfair circumstances, and unfulfilled dreams.

I praise you for encircling me with your love and compassion, symbolized by a gleaming crown, and reminding me: those who know Jesus are royalty (1 Peter 2:9)! I bow in humble wonder at the incredible privilege you bestow, to be a daughter of the King of kings.

 

Psalms103.5

 

5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

 I praise You, O God, for knowing exactly which good things to grant me—those things that will produce a good outcome. (I know that catering to my every pleasure would ultimately be to my detriment.)

I praise you that even into old age you will strengthen my spirit so I can remain vibrant, optimistic, and full of hope. On the wings of your wisdom I’ll be able to soar (Proverbs 24:5).

Finally, may your praise always be on my lips; may my soul always boast in you, because you are a good and gracious God—always and forever (Psalm 34:1, 145:7-8)!

 

*Prior to composing this worship-prayer, I researched some of the terminology in these verses, to expand my understanding of the passage. Sources included: Be Exultant by Warren Wiersbe; www.bible.org; Jesus Calling by Sarah Young; Thrive, Don’t Simply Survive by Carole Ladd; and The Daily Study Bible Series, Psalms, by George A. F. Knight.

 

(Photo credits:  www.suggestkeyword.com; http://www.studentdevos.com; http://www.pinterest.com; http://www.suggestkeyword.com.)

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