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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, January 7, 2006

To cherish all wonder and awe

By the Rev. Dennis Mendoza

Our son, Josiah, arrived in the world two years ago, a precious 7-pound, 13-ounce, 21-inch gift from God. Another adventure has begun with this beautiful child!

I love children. They are so full of something that, over the years, as we get older, tends to erode. It is something that we should seldom be without.

What is that something? You see it in the eyes of children when they gaze out at the stars and someone tells them that God has a name for each of those stars. You observe it on the faces of children when they are told about a God who used a mule to talk to someone or a man to part a sea. You hear it as they sing: "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so."

You remember it when you recall how powerful God was to you as a child. We hope we still experience it from time to time in our lives.

We read about it in Mark 7:37. And they were utterly astonished, saying: "He has done all things well; he makes even the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak."

We lose our sense of wonder and astonishment toward God.

Mike Yaconelli writes about this loss in "A Dangerous Wonder": "The critical issue today is dullness. We have lost our sense of astonishment. The good news is no longer good news; it is OK news. Christianity is no longer life-changing; it is life-enhancing. Jesus doesn't change people into wild-eyed radicals anymore; he changes them into nice people. The greatest enemy of Christianity may be people who say they believe in Jesus but who are no longer astonished and amazed."

When was the last time you were astonished and amazed by God?

Lately I have been hearing "Oh, my God!" uttered quite often and in so many places but with nothing to do with God at all. One good example of using that saying is found in the life of Thomas, an apostle of Jesus who upon seeing our risen Lord answered him saying in John 20:28, "My Lord and my God!" words of wonder and astonishment.

What are some ways we can return to being astonished and in wonder of God? Go out one starry night and look at all those stars and read Isaiah 40:26. Read through Ephesians Chapter 1 and see all that God has done for us. Meditate on what Jesus did for us in Isaiah 53. Marvel at what the future holds for us in Romans 8:18. Memorize Romans 5:8 and I John 5:13 and insert your name where the pronouns are. Ask someone to share how Jesus changed their life.

One last thing you can do is go to a hospital baby ward and look at those miracles of God and marvel at the work of the creator, our heavenly Father.

You too were once this little.

"For thou didst form my inward parts; thou didst weave me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are thy works, and my frame knows it very well." Psalms 139:13, 14.

Stand in awe of him.

The Rev. Dennis Mendoza is an associate pastor at International Baptist Church.