Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Prayer for Keeping Our Amazement

“Hearing this, Jesus was amazed and said to those following him, ‘I assure you: I have not found anyone in Israel with so great a faith!’”
Matthew 8:10

Gracious Father, this verse stopped me in my tracks.  I find it unbelievable that Jesus was amazed.  And amazed by what?  By a man's faith. How can the God of the universe, the creator of all things, be amazed by his own creature? If I were Jesus I’d think, "Finally, someone gets it!  It's about time!"

But Your word says that Jesus was amazed.  Abba, its so easy for me to become calloused. In my job, in my interactions with people, without realizing it I become numb and lose the capacity to be amazed.  In an often subconscious effort to be unaffected and unimpressed, I often find myself thinking "I've seen worse" or "that could have been done better." I confess that my heart you created to feel deep emotions often times barely skims the surface of those plummeting depths.  Theodore Roosevelt said, “comparison is the thief of joy.”  Similarly, it's comparison that is often the thief of our amazement and every other God-given emotion we are meant to experience and express.

The Jesus who wept over his friend Lazarus' death, and who moments later raised him from the dead (John 11:29-44), was amazed at this Centurion's faith. This is the Jesus we're called to emulate. Oh Lord, that we would fight to feel emotion like Jesus did. 

Father, in the morning, at midday and in the evening may we first and foremost direct our amazement toward you.  May we be amazed by your unfailing love, your abundant mercy, your matchless righteousness and selfless sacrifice.  As we move through our days, give us the eyes to see what amazes you - in people, in creation, and in whatever situations we may face. May the gospel-breathed life in our hearts allow us to plunge the expanse of emotion you've created us to live with. May our gospel-driven expressions of your heart point others to you, whether it be in weeping with a grieving friend or rejoicing in a small but significant accomplishment of a co-worker. So very amen I pray, in your matchless and magnificent name. 

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