“You ever been astonished by God?” I asked Stan one morning.
“You might as well ask me if I have ever taken a breath,” he replied with a smile. “I’m constantly astonished by God. All I have to do is look at where I am and where I’m going when it’s time for me to step into eternity. Absolutely astonishing!”
“Can you tell me more about that?” I asked.
“Sure thing,” Stan replied. “Just think about the fact that God loved us so much that He sent Jesus so we can have the assurance of spending eternity in God’s presence when our time here is completed. Is that astonishing or what?”
Continuing, he added, “And then there’s the whole question of what’s to happen before I step into eternity. I get to know God the Father and Jesus the Son in an ever-deepening and closer personal relationship. Talk about astonishing!”
“Yeah,” I agreed, “pretty astonishing to think that the Lord God of the universe allows us to know Him and His Son.”
“It is,” Stan replied, “and you know that it doesn’t just happen.”
“What doesn’t just happen?” I asked.
“Being astonished by God.”
“What do you mean?”
“It’s just like something Mark recorded in his gospel account of Jesus, about the people being astonished at His teaching. You know how they were astonished?”
“By being close enough to hear what He had to say,” Stan replied. “And it’s the same thing for me and for everyone else. If I’m not close enough to hear what Jesus has to teach me, there’s no way I can be astonished by His teaching.”
“Sounds kind of like that may apply to just about everything. If I’m not here, there’s no way I can be astonished by the blueberry pancakes that Ricky brings.”
“That’s it,” Stan replied. “I can’t be astonished if I’m not here, and I can’t be astonished by what God has to show and tell me if I’m not in His presence.”
Bible verses to consider:
All the multitudes were astonished by His teaching. Mark 11:18.
And all the multitudes were amazed and began to say, “This man cannot be the Son of David can he?” Matthew 12:23.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for all you have done to astonish me. You have graciously and freely given me life eternally with you when my time here is completed. You have given me the opportunity to know you and Jesus on this side of eternity. When I think of your love and all of your provision, I am astonished. I admit that too often I do not seek to be astonished by what you have for me because I choose not to be close enough to be astonished. Please help me follow every step of your lead so I am close to you—close enough to hear what will astonish me! Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you accepted God’s astonishing free and gracious gift of life eternally with Him when your time here is completed? If no, why? If you have the assurance of salvation and redemption, are you astonished by what God provides on this side of eternity? Why or why not? Do you accept the idea that you have to be close enough to God to be astonished by what He has for you? If you sense you are not as close as you need to be in order to be astonished, what can be done about that? Is that what you want? Why or why not?