“TOO WONDERFUL FOR ME”
1. Little Kyrah’s favorite phrase – maybe her first one – is “Oh, wow!”
a. It’s what she says when you show her something, and her attention gets fixed on it for a minute – maybe it’s a bird or a flower or a bug – “Oh, wow,” she’ll say.
b. If I could give her something to stay with her through life, I think it would be for her “oh, wow” to stay with her always, only growing deeper and more profound as her years pass.
2. I say that because I believe a real sense of wonder is the raw material of which spiritual health is built, maybe even the raw material of which character is developed.
1. Things too wonderful for me
a. Psalm 139:6 – the knowledge of the invisible attributes of the living God.
b. Job 42:3 – the issues at stake in why God allows things to happen in our lives like they do.
c. Proverbs 30:18, 19 – the manner in which the moral design of God is borne out in nature.
2. What wonder means in practice
a. The sense of awe that produces worship
i. Vance Havener once wrote, “The Quakers got their name from the fact that they trembled under the power of the Spirit. At least their faith shook them! Too many of us today are shaky about what we believe but are not shaken by what we believe. We have come all the way from burning hearts to itching ears, from ‘Amen’ to ‘So what.’”
ii. David said, “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well” (Ps. 139:14). Paul Sain collected these statistics to illustrate how true that observation is. In an average 24 hour period, your body will:
Have its heart beat 103,000 times;
Breathe about 23,000 times;
Inhale 430 cubic feet of air;
Consume about 3 pounds of food;
Drink about 3 quarts of water;
Speak about 4,800 words;
Use over 7,000 muscles;
Use 7,000,000 brain cells;
Walk 7 miles.
Every aspect of this is testimony to the greatness of its Maker and Giver.
iii. About the time I was in college, Antony Flew, a prominent British philosopher and atheist, engaged brother Thomas Warren in a debate about the existence of God. He was not persuaded. He had become an atheist at the age of fifteen and he spent many years of his life denying the existence of God. He regularly argued with his colleague C. S. Lewis (himself a former atheist) over whether God exists. In late 2004, he gave an interview in which he said that he always tried to follow the evidence, wherever it leads. But DNA research, he said, had convinced him that the first reproductive organisms could never have formed spontaneously, and that biologists’ study of DNA “has shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce (life), that intelligence must have been involved.” (Cited in an article by R. Hadley)
iv. Psalm 77:11-14
v. Psalm 40:4-5
vi. Romans 11:33-36
b. The thoughtful consideration that leads to trust
i. Psalm 8:3-4
ii. Luke 12:24, 27-28
iii. Psalm 111:1, 4-5
c. The humble submission that allows for peace
i. “Too wonderful” doesn’t mean never thinking about it any more; it means that even though it is beyond my ability to comprehend, and despite the fact that I don’t know everything about how my little story fits into his big story, I find peace in the humble acceptance of the fact that He is God and I am not, and in being glad it is that way.
ii. Psalm 139:17-18, 23-24
iii. Psalm 131:1-2
d. The spirit of respect that enables responsibility
i. Moses, Isaiah, Peter
ii. Deuteronomy 29:29
iii. Isaiah 55:6-9
1. Reverence that worships God. Thoughtfulness that trusts him. Humility that obeys him. Respect that serves him. That is what comes of the sense of wonder we are thinking of.
2. Too wonderful for me: the atmosphere for the two great questions of life
a. “Who are you, Lord?” (Acts 22:8)
b. “What shall I do, Lord?” (Acts 22:10)
3. Too wonderful for me: the preparation for the great goal of life
“When he comes on that day...to be marveled at among all who have believed...” (2 Thes. 1:10)