Wonder and Praise

Richland Blog 3

Wonder and Praise

This past Saturday, the boys and I were out exploring the Tri-city area. We made it to the northern portion of Richland, where we discovered Leslie Groves Park. I must say, you all have some great parks. It is great watching my sons explore these new environments. Recently they have picked up a new fascination with rocks; they will pick up any and every rock if I let them—everything from small pebbles to fist-sized river rock. To me and my adult muffled point of view, these rocks are nothing special; they are typically gray and not particularly smooth… they are just rocks. We walk across them and never pay attention to them, but they are a treasure to my sons. If I let them, they would have filled up a stroller full of rocks. An older man with his dog passed us by and remarked, “I wish I still saw the world as they did.” This made me think, why don’t I look at the world like this anymore?  

I suppose it’s because we have lived long enough that these everyday occurrences become commonplace. We have seen these very similar rocks a thousand times before. We have looked at the world around us and have allowed it to become uninteresting in our eyes. Sadly, we become so used to the “day-to-day” events in our lives that we don’t act accordingly when something truly spectacular happens. I have two passages for us to reflect on this week; the first comes from Luke 19:40. Jesus is entering Jerusalem for the final time in what we call the “Triumphal Entry,” people have crowded the roadside and are praising and cheering for him. The Pharisees find this to be rude and disrespectful and want Jesus to put an end to it; here is Jesus’ reply:

Luke 19:40 ESV
“[Jesus] answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”

The Pharisees get a bad rap, they really are trying to uphold the Law and a mere man shouldn’t be accepting praise that is intended for God alone. However, what the Pharisees missed because of their dulled point of view is that God was doing something incredible right in front of them. Because they had closed their mind to Jesus being the Anointed One, they missed out on rejoicing in one of the greatest moments in the history of the World. Consider how great it would have been to be a part of this moment, cheering for Jesus as he makes his entrance into Jerusalem to redeem humanity. Jesus’ reply confronts the Pharisees in their muted point of view; and he lets them know that there are moments that even if we don’t recognize them, creation itself will cry out on behalf of these spectacular moments.  

My first challenge is: Don’t be so caught up in such a desensitized point of view that you miss what God is doing in your life, passing it off as mundane or ordinary.

And yet, even on top of that understanding, we should count the mundane and ordinary parts as life as spectacular. Not because a rock is more than rock, but because a rock was made by God. When we view God as sovereign, our world should come to life.

Psalm 115:1, 15-18
Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness! … 15 May you be blessed by the LORD, who made heaven and earth! 16 The heavens are the LORD’s heavens, but the earth he has given to the children of man. 17 The dead do not praise the LORD, nor do any who go down into silence. 18 But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and forevermore. Praise the LORD!”

When we correctly view that everything belongs to God and that God has imparted it to mankind for our purposes, it should give new life and meaning to the world around us. The little rock is no longer just a rock. I recognize first that God created it, it was found by my boys to marvel at, and it allows me to give praise back to God. I praise God because of how He created the world and how He created humans to be able to marvel at the world around us. I should be in this cycle of marvel, wonder, and praise as long as I am alive. I love that the psalmist rights that this is for the living to do forevermore.

My second challenge is: While you are still living, use each moment to recognize the world around you and turn that praise back to God.

Whether the moments are big or small, recognize what God is doing or has done and give Him the praise that He is due.


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