Last month, I wrote about the different ways we can respond to God in prayer. The first type of response which I mentioned was ‘Wow’. In this season of harvest, it is appropriate to look around at the amazing things which God has made and rejoice. As William Chatterton Dix’s hymn expresses it,
“Bright robes of gold the fields adorn, the hills with joy are ringing; the valleys stand so thick with corn that even they are singing.”
All creation seems to respond to God.
Yet, over the last few weeks we have also said ‘wow’ in response to the awesome power of creation in rather different ways. We’ve seen floods in South-East Asia, particularly in Bangladesh. We’ve seen storms on Texas and more recently in the Caribbean and Florida. We’ve seen earthquakes devastating parts of Mexico. There are no easy answers telling us why God lets these things happen, but it still reminds us of the awesome power of a God who is more powerful than these forces which are beyond our comprehension never mind control.
Many of my own prayers of ‘wow’ have been in response to some young people telling their story, their testimony, of experiencing the love of Jesus and feeling called to respond to that love in service of others. I’ve also muttered ‘wow’ in response to more intimate stories of individuals faithfully showing Christ-like love in the face of dreadful suffering, even to death.
In each of these diverse ways, I find that I lift my head above the routine, away from the daily chores, and to pause in the presence of God.
‘Come, let us praise the Lord, with joy our God acclaim, his greatness tell abroad and bless his saving name.’ (Timothy Dudley-Smith)