Monday, December 9, 2013

When You Want God-Wonder In December

The temperatures dipped even lower as the sun gained momentum that frigid morning. I shuffled around the house, half hugging myself as if that would warm up my passionless heart.

Walking past the window I caught a glimpse of it.

The glistening.

My hand left a frosted outline as I pressed into the window to soak in what I saw. Like countless tiny stars, popping off the frosty snow-blanket that lay thick over my world.

Forgetting all sound thinking, I grabbed my camera and ran outside into the thin air of winter, with its harsh north wind sweeping down, making it hard just to gasp a deep breath.

And there I stood, twisting my body in strange angles, shaking with excitement, shuttering from the cold, trying to capture that frame that would remind me of the gift of wonder.

The camera is a limited, yet wonderful tool. On that bitter cold day with bad news blaring from every side, it helped me lay hold of some God-wonder.

I had been praying for some wonder to cling to, in the world filled with un-wondorous news and events.

I think that is why He brought to mind, one of my earliest child memories, of frigid December nights, not so unlike the ones we've been living. My parents would dare to bundle and stack their four farm kids, in the back seat of a Chrysler. It was in the early 60’s, small town America, where there was one beautiful, three story white home, perched in the center of town that had an extravagant holiday display.

You had to drive down “B” Street, past Fremont Dairy and turn north by the row of empty green houses. There streams of cars lined up to take their turns to see the animated holiday characters placed in the front of this enchanting home.

As you neared the frosty exhibit, windows were manually rolled down on the passenger side. Winter air blasted our faces, as we all fought for position to get a closer look. It was magical to watch elves pop out from behind doors, climb ladders, and swing hammers that tapped on toys. A miniature ferris-wheel loaded with small stuffed animals swaying as it turned, and the Mr. and Mrs. Clause stood life-sized, waving from side to side. 

It was quite the charming display and precious early memory. Some folks say that lovely, well-to-do family just kind of fell apart later on.

Can I just dare to say that we need more than beautiful twinkling lights and nice yard decorations to capture the wonder of  Christmas?

This season has so many emotions for most of us. We miss loved ones who we can't be near. We deeply desire to make things special for those we love and those we come in contact with and we stretch our energies and resources to accomplish it. 

Miles may multiply longing in people’s hearts, but these days of December and empty grasping at all the world has to offer, multiply longing in people’s souls.


You can quote me on that friends.

The verse that I shared today, might seem an odd fit for the Christmas season, but the story of the Christ Child is a crazy story isn't it? How Christ arrived on the unlikely scene of Bethlehem and was laid in a manger, by a young unmarried woman, in a stable with the musty breath of animals around him. 

And not everyone wants to hear how that Baby-boy was destined to learn to walk from a rough-hewn manger to the rugged cross. 

The whole thing fills me with wonder.

Isaiah is probably my favorite book in the Bible.

These verses from Isaiah speak of the God who spun the universe into being.

Who has measured the water of the sea
with the palm of his hand
or measured the sky with the length of his hand?
Who has held the dust of the earth
in a bushel basket
or weighed the mountains
on a scale and the hills on a balance?

I hope you will read those words as they put into perspective, how God cups this earth we know as home.

This total of 25,326 miles around of spinning mass, -He holds it in the palm of His hands, yet, He grips us close to His heart. 

The Bible says too, that the heavens can not contain Him

It doesn't concern me at all, those who doubt the truth and the reality of God and all His wonder and His plan to redeem man.

He isn't sitting on His throne in the expanse of heaven holding His breath, hoping that man will prove He is real. 

He desires though, that we embrace the reality of Him.

It is this knowing Jesus and His real-ness that makes a grown woman run outside skipping and leaping through snow, in sockless slippers and thin clothing, to capture the beauty of heavy frost, frigid cold and a late blooming rose.

He is happy to take my breath away, when I ask Him to astound me with His wonder.

That same God who lets me glimpse His glory, I think is pleased when I’m willing to make a fool of myself, to behold and try to capture a tiny speck of His glorious beauty, to share with anyone who will sit still!

I believe it pleases Him when we are captivated by His handiwork and struck by His love. 

Can I just invite you to join me in praying for God to capture our hearts with surprises of His amazing goodness and beauty. 


I've been looking and grasping for what causes child-like wonder in these cold December days. 

I want so much, that together we can press our faces against the glass, to peer in and see the truth of His beauty and Presence in our lives.

Embrace the Wonder and Truth of this season. 

Cling to the Gift that December holds for us all.

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© Rhonda Quaney