Awestruck on a Tuesday in June

Yesterday, I met a man who is in love with light.

He’s a university professor and he has studied light for many years – its properties, its uses, its potential. He’s writing a book about light and with very little prompting, he will tell you amazing things about the subject. He’s an older man, my guess would be he’s in his seventies but as he discussed his studies, he became energized, animated and full of . . .well . . . light.

It made me wonder.

Have you ever studied something and fallen in love with it even more? Recently, I was privileged to study screenplay writing with an expert in the subject. She showed clips from movies that I enjoy but when she was done explaining the nuances of what went into the writing and direction for each scene, I appreciated the films on a whole new level, even wondered if I’d been paying any attention at all the first time around.

I have felt that way many times over the years of home schooling. Teaching my children led me to research a variety of subjects I’d only touched upon in the years of my own education. Inevitably, the deeper I went with a subject, the more I was enamored of it, fascinated by some new aspect, enthralled with the wonder brought about by a deeper look.

That’s also been my experience of God.

I’m working on writing a Bible study resource for teachers of teens based on lessons I’ve taught high school students about the Old Testament. This week, I am studying, again, the story of Noah. This is a story that almost every child learns in preschool. We hold chunky board books covered with animals and glued on fur and look at the face of a smiling older man and his wife on a boat surrounded by birds, giraffes, and friendly tigers. From this, we think we know the story of God and Noah.

But there is so much more to it. It’s not so much about animals, boats, and floodwaters as it is about knowing who to believe. It’s about choosing between walking alone or walking with God. It’s about holding fast to faith when there are a million reasons to let go. It’s about choosing to do what is right even when everyone around you is choosing selfishness, cynicism, and violence. It’s about the difference between being a prophet or a whacko, a survivor or one condemned to death.

And the more I study these early chapters in Genesis and make the connections between that ancient day, Jesus, the New Testament, and finally my own life – well, the more I see the amazing nature of God. He is a story weaver like no other. He has known what He was doing from the very beginning and each of us is a delicate thread woven into the tapestry of history – His story – and His work is seamless – every part of life working to serve the greater story.

Many of us claim to know God but how much time to we spend really studying Him, really diving deeper into His word and into His world. The university professor didn’t mention God in his enthusiastic sonnet to light but he has accidentally learned about God by studying just one of His inventions. If I come to appreciate a novel, a movie, or an invention to that degree, I am thrilled when I get to meet the person behind the creation. I pray this professor, if he doesn’t already, will one day know the Creator of the light that has captured his imagination and his heart. How sad would it be to fall in love with a creation and miss the heart and mind of the One behind it?

Any of us who take the time to truly study the God of the universe on a deeper level will come away more in love and deeper in wonder than we imagined possible. Don’t be satisfied skimming the surface of God. It isn’t enough. Demand to plumb His depths. Demand to know His heart.

Don’t leave it to the “Bible experts” to see God on this level. He invites you there, too.

Job called on God and God opened a door to the poetry of His personality, the breadth of His nature, the scope of His power. It’s worth reading all of what He says in Job 38 but this is the one part:

“8 “Who shut up the sea behind doors
when it burst forth from the womb,
9 when I made the clouds its garment
and wrapped it in thick darkness,
10 when I fixed limits for it
and set its doors and bars in place,
11 when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther;
here is where your proud waves halt’?
12 “Have you ever given orders to the morning,
or shown the dawn its place,
13 that it might take the earth by the edges
and shake the wicked out of it?
14 The earth takes shape like clay under a seal;
its features stand out like those of a garment.
15 The wicked are denied their light,
and their upraised arm is broken.
16 “Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea
or walked in the recesses of the deep?
17 Have the gates of death been shown to you?
Have you seen the gates of the deepest darkness?
18 Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?
Tell me, if you know all this.
19 “What is the way to the abode of light?
And where does darkness reside?
20 Can you take them to their places?
Do you know the paths to their dwellings? “Job 38:8-20

God is truly unfathomable but that doesn’t mean He cannot be explored. Do you want to fall in love with the One who knows where light resides? Take the time to study Him more – through His Son, through His Word, through what He has created.

Go deeper with God and you will find His heart and you will know love and life on an entirely new level. You will, again, be filled with wonder and awe even on a Tuesday in June.

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