Many mornings when I leave the house, head down, running late, thoughts whirring with lists of the duties of the day ahead, I’m stopped in my hurried tracks by the sound of a songbird’s lilting voice from leafy branches. God uses tiny birds in their branches to turn my heart to Him. (Acts 17:26-27)
A couple years ago, realizing this, I memorized and meditated on some verses, fragments of which still bubble up almost daily. In those bubble-up moments, my heart travels from my head-down rush to a place of wonder and worship of the Lord. They are verses like:
The birds in their branches lift their voice in song. (Ps. 104:12)
My mind remembers Psalm 104 and my heart lifts with the songbird’s chorus.
But I don’t ever want to just remember and repeat a verse to myself as rote memory — I want to turn to my Lord and thank Him that He brings His Word to life through everyday wonders:
“Oh God, thank you for that beautiful little bird on her branch singing her little heart out! She lifts her voice in song and reminds me to think of You, her masterful Creator. You are magnificent. You are wonderful!”
The little bird trills her melody and my heart softens. My preoccupied mind turns toward God. I am newly amazed by all He’s done and all He’s created. His everyday wonders are meant to lead to worship.
Awakened to passed-by wonders
You may live in a noise-filled city and the warble of a songbird on her branch rarely reaches your ears, or you may not be in a “hurry, hurry!” stage of life.
- You may have, instead, wakened to sadness.
- You may be regretful of yesterday’s actions.
- You may be fighting fear of your tomorrows.
But wherever you find yourself, do this:
Ask the Lord to waken your eyes and ears to the wonders of the (seemingly) everyday world around you.
Are you sad this morning? Are you afraid? Are you regret-filled? Lift your head! Ask God to open the eyes of your heart, that you might flourish in your spirit no matter your circumstances.
“You live and move and have your being in a world so full of visible and invisible, material and spiritual wonders that’s it’s a wonder you are not constantly overwhelmed by even the most ordinary things.
Look at the dead fly on your windowsill, for example. Could you have imagined such a creature? Its eyes gave it almost 360-degree compound vision and it tasted with its legs. Its transparent wings moved it faster than your hand. The most brilliant humans in history combined could not create one and God made this marvel mainly for manure.
Then look at the windowsill. If it’s wood it was once a living tree whose branches stretched to the sky and caught sunrays in its leaves for food. Where did that tree grow? How did light and water produce something so strong and durable that it now shelters you and frames your view?
Now look at the window glass. Who first discovered that by putting the seashore into the fire you could put the seashore into the side of your house and see through it? How God must have delighted the day the glass age dawned!
And as you look through your window know that each thing on which your eye rests has a story that stretches back, back into ancient ages before all memory except the Ancient of Days. Every living thing you encounter is a descendent of the Adam of its kind. Open your window and listen. Every sound is telling you something about that story. Every smell too. Get out into the sun or rain, heat or chill, wind or still and feel the real.
And wonder. Let yourself wonder. Let it lead you to worship the One who created it all (Colossians 1:16) and who is at this very moment upholding it all by the word of his power (Hebrews 1:3).” (Jon Bloom, “Let Wonder Lead You to Worship (Don’t Let the Devil Dumb You),” June 15, 2012, desiringgod.com)
Overwhelmed (and changed) by the ordinary
O Father, overwhelm us by even the most ordinary. We want You to become bigger, and ourselves to become smaller. Whether we wake today to the patter of pre-school feet, or our phone alarm; and whether we spend our hours in our home or at an office; and whether the sun sparkles from a bright blue sky or heavy rains fall from a grey one, on this day, please use everyday wonders to lead us to worship.
Lift our hearts as You open our eyes to Your intentional care and creative design of even the most minute and overlooked, like the housefly. Startle us! Astound us! We need You to turn our obsessed-with-ourselves day into one of fascination, caught up in little moments of astonishment at Your wonders.