After last week’s live broadcast, I met my friend Michol for coffee, not imaging we’d have a “great questions and interesting points” conversation. Michol is a good friend. I frequently quote her in our Friday morning WOLKs. Why? Because she’s very wise.
Sitting down with our coffee, Michol stopped me. “Before you say anything,” she began, “I have to tell about the word God gave me.”
Michol explained how God has often given her themes, a particular focus for a particular time, but nothing lately. So she’d asked Him for direction, realizing as she did, that she hadn’t come to God for direction in quite some time—which may have been why she’d been feeling a little undirected, unfocused.
On Friday, on her way to the coffee shop, Michol had been given the word Wonder. “Deanna, I’m not sure if the word is for me or for you.” I replied, “Or for both of us.”
Thinking about wonder, I immediately thought about awe, the awesomeness of God, the awesomeness of His creation, worship and praise moments, interesting points in our relationship with God.
Michol thought about wonder as a question mark, “I wonder if…”, great questions when thinking about God’s place in our lives. Michol turned my attention to wonder as a question. It was not a question of if God was directing us, that much was certain, but it was a question of what and how, who and where He was directing us, the focus being on His will, His way, His when.
“I wonder if this is what God wants me to do.”
“I wonder if this is the time.”
“I wondered if this is where.”
Great Questions and Interesting Points
Michol’s great questions. My interesting points of wonder.
Later, on a walk with my husband, Kurt, we talked about wonder. We immediately thought about moments of wonder. We were part of a wonderful fall morning. We thought about the love of family, the blessings in our life, wonderful blessings.
I began to wonder (asking that question), I began to wonder if our questions about wonder can connect to the exclamation points of wonder in our walk with God. I smiled thinking and wondering about Moses. There was a guy who wondered.
Standing in front of the burning bush, Moses heard God call out to him. “Moses! Moses!” Hearing God say He was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Moses hid his face. That’s wonder with an exclamation point.
Hearing God say he would be the one to go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt, Moses replied, “Who am I that I should go?”
Even after seeing wonderful signs, Moses wondered aloud whether he was really God’s guy. “Please send someone else,” he implored. That’s wonder! Great questions.
Throughout the Bible we’re given story after story in which God’s people wonder if and then stand back in wonder of. They wonder where God is in the moment, in their circumstances. They wonder about God’s direction for them. They wonder what God wants of them. They wonder if God still cares for them.
Wonder is a good thing when it brings about discernment, when it helps us see more clearly, hear more distinctly, when discerning God’s voice from the bushes in our life.
The problem with wonder comes when our wonderings get in the way of the exclamation points in our relationship with God, when our questions take us off course in our walk with Him, when our wonderings turn the focus from God’s will, God’s way, God’s when to our will, our way, and our when.
Easy for me to do!
If we’re not careful, wonder can also lead us away from God. Wonder can plant seeds of doubt, obscuring God’s will, His way, and His when.
Remember the snake’s question to Eve, “Did God really say?”
The Bible’s story about Mary is a wonderful example of wonder as a question mark and wonder as an exclamation point. When an angel visits Mary, he shares a message from God that she will give birth to God’s very own son.
But Mary wonders, “How can this be?” In response, the angel reassures her, “No word from God will ever fail.” Mary’s reply? “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Mary’s wonder focused in on God’s will, God’s way, God’s when.
Later while visiting a relative, Mary exclaims,
“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.”
Great question marks followed by interesting exclamation points.
God is big, and at times God will ask us to do big things in big ways. At other times, He will ask us to do smaller things in smaller ways. Both might feel impossible at the time.
It is good to ask questions, to wonder. It is good to be discerning in our walk with God, to let “I wonder” moments bring us closer to God’s will, His way, His when.
It’s easy to use “just” to describe our circumstances: “I’m just one person.” “I’m just working part-time.” “I’m just a [you fill in the blank].”
We can find ourselves having a Moses moment: “Please, God, send someone else.”
But remember the angel’s reply to Mary, “No word from God will ever fail.”
And don’t forget Mary’s reply. It’s not just an exclamation for a young unmarried Jewish girl, it’s a wonderful exclamation for us all.
With her words, I pray:
Our souls glorify You and our spirits rejoice in You, our Savior, for You have been mindful of the humble state of each one of us.
You have done great things for us. Holy is your name.
Your mercy extends to those who worship and serve You, who live in awe of You, from generation to generation.
In Your wonderful name, we pray. Amen.
Ladies, God used angels as messengers to Mary and others. Their stories are included throughout the Bible. God continues to use messengers to lead us, to help us find our focus, to affirm our next steps. Sometimes they even meet us for coffee.
Blessing this day and throughout this coming week.
May your days be filled with great question marks and interesting exclamation points.