A Sense of Awe


“Samuel called to the Lord, and the Lord sent thunder and rain. And all the people were terrified of the Lord and of Samuel.”  —  1 Samuel 12:18

I spent some much-needed time away this past weekend with my wonderful wife, Shirlon. We were in the north Alabama hills, just soaking in the beauty of God’s creative handiwork. While we stood on a high bluff overlooking the Tennessee River, I was reminded of something Jacob Needleman wrote of an experience he had:

“I was an observer at the launch of Apollo 17 in 1975. It was a night launch, and there were hundreds of cynical reporters all over the lawn, drinking beer, wise cracking, and waiting for this 35 story-high rocket.

The countdown came, and then the launch. The first thing you see is this extraordinary orange light, which is just at the limit of what you can bear to look at. Everything is illuminated with this light. Then comes this thing slowly rising up in total silence, because it takes a few seconds for the sound to come across. You hear a ‘Whooooooosh! HHHHHHHHHMMMMM!’ It enters right into you.

You can practically hear jaws dropping. The sense of wonder fills everyone in the whole place, as this thing goes up and up. The first stage ignites this beautiful blue flame. It becomes like a star, but you realize there are humans on it. And then there’s total silence.

People just get up quietly, helping each other up. They’re kind. They open doors. They look at one another, speaking quietly and interestingly. These were suddenly moral people because the sense of wonder, the experience of wonder, had made them moral.”

When we have a sense of awe and wonder toward God, our lives will also be changed for the better. We will begin living lives that please God as we help others toward a personal relationship with Jesus.

I learned, in a fresh new way, this weekend about the importance of wonder and the need for an awe-filled vision of God. We must stop, be still, and know that He is God!

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