Summary: Remembering the wonders of life brings us to thankfulness.
Remember The Wonders (Thanksgiving 2004)
1 Chron 16:12 October 10, 2004
Intro: (calvin and Hobbes cartoon)
Remember The Wonders
Verse 12 of 1 Chronicles 16 says, “remember the wonders”. Can you?
The wonders began the day we were conceived. There in the safety of our mothers womb we grew, God superintended the dividing of cells, the stem cells differentiating and becoming a heart, a finger, skin, and brain. Psalm 139 describes God’s activity as “knitting” us together there in the womb. For most of us, there was the wonder of loving, excited parents eagerly awaiting the day of our birth. And there, at the moment of conception, something eternal began – a new soul, able to be full and alive, able to love and be loved, able to become a child of the living God. God looked deep into the soul He was creating, and loved you.
And then the day of your birth came. You and I do not remember that day, but it is one our parents would never forget. A wonder emerges through the pain, and when that tiny, helpless bundle is placed in the arms of a loving mother and father, another wonder begins: the love of parent for child. A love that stands fast through many trials, a love that guides and corrects, a love that makes mistakes and causes pain and then grieves those mistakes, a love that rejoices in accomplishment, and then a love that opens hands and lets go.
As we grew, we discovered the wonder of the world around us. We discovered beauty and wildness, we discovered how diverse and harmonious and dangerous life is in the number of creatures with whom we share this earth. We discovered the power of God in storms, the warmth of God in the rays of sun, the steadfastness of God in the mountains that stand tall and the rivers the constantly flow. We discovered with David in Psalm 19, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.”
Do you remember the wonders, and do they make you feel thankful?
In that period of discovery, the most important thing we discovered was people. We discovered the wonder of relationship. We discovered that there are people around us who love us and want to be with us, with whom we could laugh and play, cry and be comforted, challenge and grow, people with whom we could share all the amazing experiences of life. We discovered relatives who had deep emotional attachments to us, friends who shared their joys and struggles, a community in church and school and neighbourhoods who helped us grow and become mature and responsible and secure.
Remember the wonder of relationship? Of sharing the deep places of who you are, of opening up and risking hurt, of discovering you were not alone but that others felt the same way too? Remember the thrill of shared adventure, of biking or hiking or waterskiing or whitewater rafting or fishing, of campfires and conversation, of birthday parties or pajama parties or tenting in the backyard? We may not have realized it at the time, but our earthly relationships are a reflection of the wonder of God.
Of course remembering our relationships is not always positive. There are many painful memories as well. But even in those, can you remember the wonders? The wonder of a friend who was there to listen and share the pain. The wonder of a God that kept you and protected you and continues to heal you. The wonder in many cases of a restored, forgiven, stronger relationship – we sometimes miss remembering those because we want to forget the pain. Maybe you can even remember the wonder of how something painful and difficult and ugly opened a door to something far richer and deeper than you could ever have known without the pain. It is good to remember those as well, because they teach us to hope in our current struggles as we remember the faithfulness of God, and they teach us to thank God for our pain as we see in hindsight how “all things work together for good.”
Matthew Henry, who wrote a commentary on every book of the Bible, was once robbed. The thieves took everything of value that he had. Later that evening he wrote in his diary these words, “I am thankful that during these years I have never been robbed before. Also, even though they took my money, they did not take my life. Although they took all I had, it was not much. Finally, I am grateful that it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed.”...
As we remember the wonder of relationship, do you remember the wonder of your first love? Your first kiss? How it felt to be alive and unique and strong and understood? Do you remember how it felt to be in love, to be romanced, to win the heart of the girl? Do you remember staying up late into the night sharing stories and dreams and experiences, of laughing till your sides hurt, of hoping and then rejoicing that your feelings were returned?