When was the last time you were truly amazed by something good? Can you remember the last time your jaw dropped to the ground and you stood utterly speechless in wonder at the mighty nature and workings of the living God?
Not long ago, I had the incredible opportunity to witness the birth of a precious baby boy. I had seen visions of childbirth in pictures, videos and TV shows, but friends, there is nothing like being there in the flesh and witnessing first hand the astonishing miracle of new life – together with the blood, guts and glory of it all.
To put it simply… I was amazed!
I kind of remember that being amazed was a regular occurrence as a child, but the feeling and even ability to be amazed seems to have faded over the years. I think being amazed somehow equates with having a ‘child-like spirit’. Now that I have grown up, I have to intentionally become like a child again to experience wonders anew.
Around six years ago, my ability to be amazed with anything good from the Lord seems to dry up in almost an instant. You see, our daughter was desperately ill and had just been diagnosed with a terminal disease. I was at the bottom of a pit I could see no way out of. I remember being in the bathroom, in a crumpled mess on the floor, and opening my Bible for some form of comfort. It was in that terrible moment that God gave me the first of many promises to hold onto throughout the year of Bethany’s illness and eventual passing.
I can’t remember exactly how I came to gaze upon these particular words… I know people were sending me messages of comfort from the Psalms and that Bethany herself loved several of the Psalms. So on that dark day, as I groped for my Bible, I guess it was natural for me to turn to the Psalms and my blurry eyes could not escape the draw to Psalm 40:1-5. As I tried to focus in through the tears and read this worshipful testimonial of King David, it was one of those moments when God seemed to whisper to me, “My girl, this is what I am going to do for you too…”
“I called patiently for the LORD to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire. He set my feet on a firm foundation and steadied me as I walked along. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and BE AMAZED. (Emphasis mine.) They will put their hope in the LORD. Oh, the joys of those who trust the LORD…”
The recent birth of dear little Jordan awakened in me a new sense of amazement – a feeling that had been buried for a long time under a load of pain. I am grateful for this awakening and today, here I stand in the midst of two important milestones… the fifth anniversary of Bethany’s passing just gone and her 21st birthday just days away… and honestly, I am amazed!
I am amazed we are still alive, functioning well, together as a couple and family and working in a vital ministry that brings God’s words of hope to a world in need. I am gob-smacked at the goodness and grace of God, our merciful Father, who has seen us through thus far and promises to see us through until completion. Full credit to Him! Yes, totally amazed that much good has come from Bethany’s suffering already… good in the form of lives transformed, inspired and challenged to live in deeper places of faith and fruitfulness in Christ. I am amazed that He has indeed lifted us up out of that pit of despair and put a ‘new song’ of praise to Him in our mouths!
This week, a new project is about to be officially launched in Bethany’s honor. A video clip and book that we trust will help many understand the plight of some of the world’s most desperate women and make a huge transformative difference in many lives.
Friends, while we are honored to be part of this new work Bethany’s life has inspired, we are also believing for the fulfilment of the Psalm 40 promise and ask you to believe with us that…
“MANY WILL SEE WHAT HE HAS DONE AND BE AMAZED. THEY WILL PUT THEIR HOPE IN THE LORD.”
Are you lacking a bit of amazement right now? Wondering just how long it will be until the Lord lifts you and sets your feet on solid ground again? Maybe you could ask Him to show you something amazing of Himself, a new revelation of His character that will leave you overwhelmed by His great love for you? Maybe He will give you something special to see with your eyes, like the birth I witnessed, to shake you up and see the wonders of His creation afresh.
Whatever it will be, as you wait on Him, what He will give you will be just right for you. A really simple thing set my heart off in wonder again this week and left me with tears of joy that He would care for me in such an intimate way. My eyes are like that of a child right now and I know I must keep my heart open and soft to stay that way.
Easter is again approaching and what a wonderful opportunity to stand in the presence of the resurrected Jesus and BE Amazed. I stand as a broken vessel, worshipping God together with the long line of people who have been amazed at His life, death and resurrection throughout the millennia. Oh the blood, the guts and the glory of it all!
I have a new song of praise going around my head right now, one that I want to sing out! It is not a new song, as such, but flows from an old and famous Easter Hymn. Today, it feels like a new song of hope and I long for my praise to please His heart. Oh Lord, help me never, ever lose my wonder…
When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died. My richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it Lord that I should boast, save in the death of Christ, my God! All the vain things that charm me most,I sacrifice them through His blood.
See from His head, His hands, His feet, sorrow and love flow mingled down. Did ever such love and sorrow meet? Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
Were the whole realm of nature mine, it would be an offering far to small. Love so AMAZING, so divine demands my soul, my life, my all.
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross by Isaac Watts 1707