God’s Wondrous Ways
It has taken decades to collect the random assortment of magnets which now adorn our “fridge-for-later”. Our oldest daughter Jessica was the first in our home to turn this ordinary appliance into an art gallery. She was also the one to coin the name which we still affectionately use. Katrina, Emma and Logan contributed in turn to make the kitchen a colorful display of creativity. As the children grew so did their skills. No work by any of the mortal masters can compare to a Crayola masterpiece lovingly drawn by your own progeny. Artwork has been displaced by appointment reminders, receipts and photographs. The “fridge-for-later” is still the center of family history. Photos of our grandson Emmett get premium placement, firmly held in place by magnets that are also reminders of our past adventures. The memories are just like those magnets keeping us connected to the ones we love. We still stop and look in wonder at the evidence of a lifetime of God’s blessings.
That sense of wonder is more than just pride in our children’s ability or accomplishments. Yes, their creativity and skill impress us, but it is their unconditional love that provokes such a deep emotional response. Love is the emotion and the characteristic that defines God. Stop looking down and look up. See the hand of God in our lives. It is our love for our children that allows us to see perfection and absolute beauty in every imperfect rendering. That is exactly how God looks at us. That is how He can accept us even when we are imperfect. “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1a NKJV) We should look back at Him with the heart of a child. We should love Him as they love us, without reservation.
Looking at God from this perspective opens our hearts to wonder at the glory, majesty and grandeur that also define God. “Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; Talk of all His wondrous works! (1Chronicles 16:9 NKJV) “That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving, And tell of all Your wondrous works.” (Psalm 26:7 NKJV) “Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, Who only does wondrous things!” (Psalm 72:18 NKJV) “I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, And on Your wondrous works. (Psalm 145:5 NKJV) God’s word takes on new meaning through this lens. “O God, You have taught me from my youth; And to this day I declare Your wondrous works.” (Psalm 71:17 NKJV) “Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law.” (Psalm 119:18 NKJV) “Make me understand the way of Your precepts; So shall I meditate on Your wondrous works.” (Psalm 119:27 NKJV)
Our nest is almost empty, but we are still family. The story of our love isn’t just a few fragile pages held in place by magnets. Our story is also in our hearts as well as in the hearts of our children. They are our heritage from the Lord. (Psalm 127:3) “My son, do not forget my law, But let your heart keep my commands; For length of days and long life And peace they will add to you. Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart, And so find favor and high esteem In the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:1-6 NKJV)