I remember the day that God was born – in my experience that is. He had always been more of a dusty theoretical concept to me until He opened my eyes to His hidden, spiritual, eternal reality.
I remember being stunned to find that God was truly alive and that He interacted with me, on my turf, on a minute-to-minute basis. He answered my super specific prayers and spoke to me by directing me to a perfectly appropriate passage of Scripture. I was mystified by the way He loved me by providing just the right car at just the right price.
I found significance in the details of life because the God I came to know was all powerful and all knowing – everywhere all at the same time. I wondered at the way He ordered every aspect of life according to His gracious and sovereign plan and I was grateful to be a part of it.
I will admit, though, I sometimes took it too far. I remember closing my eyes and running my finger over the pages of my Bible. When I stopped roving and opened my eyes, I expected God to give me a personalized message. Today I wonder what would have happened if my finger had landed on Job 19:17, “My breath is repulsive to my wife” -NET Bible®
When I dressed for the day, I would sometimes ask God to help me pick out a shirt. Now I just ask my wife (although God was nicer about it.)
Yes, sometimes my wide-eyed wonder was a little excessive. The dog was exhibit A. I shared a home back then with 2 others who were also new to and awed by God. A dog had been given to us. He was a big mangy dirty-white cur, but we knew that God was in the details and that He must have wanted us to have the beast.
The dog was nameless so one of us suggested that we ask God to show us the name He had in mind for the dog. We circled up and prayed a prayer that ended in this way, “and Lord we thank you for the dog – Amen.” We opened our eyes and dropped our jaws because we knew that God had just answered our prayer. “Amen.” The dog’s name was to be Amen!
Contrary to his name, he turned out to be the dog from hell. The word Amen is used in the Bible as an affirmation of what had just been said. It means “So be it.” At our house it meant, “So eat it.” The dog was a bottomless pit. And when he had finished his dog chow, he would chow down on our shoes.
Eventually we had to go our separate ways and none of us could take the dog with us (at least that’s what we said.) So, we gave him to a priest who seemed to be thankful to have a dog with a sanctified name (although I hope he sprinkled him with some holy water too!)
He later told us that the dog had escaped from the rectory. The priest canvased the neighborhood looking for him crying, “Amen! Amen!” He nearly started a revival. An African American woman opened her front door and shouted, “Praise the Lord.” (Hey, I am not making this up!)
Well, I am a lot older now and unfortunately that sense of awe I had for God has become as dulled as my other five senses. I wonder what happened?
What I initially believed about God has not been undermined or contradicted by anything that I have experienced with God since. He has been the same yesterday, today and forever – the same, ever, awesome God.
So, what can I do to recapture that wonder? When I take time to marinate my mind with a passage of Scripture, I do hear His voice – and it stirs me. When I review my prayer journal and I see the multitude of specific answers to my prayers, I am moved. God shows up in new and fresh ways whenever I step out in faith and do a mission trip – and that is awesome. Or maybe I need to write about Him – like in a blog. Yep even as I think about and type these God thoughts, my heart is moved to worship.
Go and do likewise and may the Lord be with you, Amen. (not the dog)
I recently watched this clip and the Lord stirred me. One of my most favorites songs of worship: Knowing You. Watch it without tearing up. Can’t be done!