Cultivating Wonder


Guest Post / Saturday, December 14th, 2019

This is our final guest post for the year and I have to tell you, it’s a beautiful end to our series on cultivating a faithful heart. I am so excited to introduce to you, my friend and fellow Hope*Writer, Casey Hilty, as she shares with us what God has taught her about Cultivating Wonder. The artwork you see below is a Casey original, and if you are interested in downloading a coloring sheet of this picture for your little, be sure to visit her website!

Cultivating Wonder

Every time I open my laptop, a notification pops up in the upper right-hand corner of my screen. Updates Not Installed.  It blocks several of my frequently used shortcuts, but a few clicks later — Install > Remind Me Tomorrow — and it’s gone. That’s a problem for another day.

Two years later… 

I attempt to stream a video and a new notification pops up: Something Went Wrong. A quick Google search shows that I have an incompatible platform. The server that I am attempting to access is more technologically advanced than the software on my computer. Two years of ignoring all of the suggested updates will do that. The world around me is growing rapidly and I lazily choose to push growth and accessibility back until tomorrow. 

As my cursor hovers over the “install” button, my thoughts wander to what else I put off until tomorrow. Glancing at the sink, I see that my dishes were put off until tomorrow. As dirty clothes cascade out of the laundry room, I see that washing them was put off until tomorrow. I check my phone and I see that, once again, my Bible app was ignored and put off until tomorrow. Has my faith become stagnant like my computer’s software? When was the last time my heart beat for Jesus? When have I last felt my soul yearning to be near Him? How long has it been since the wonder of God enveloped and overwhelmed me to joy, tears, peace, and laughter?

Our faith is similar to this software update. Every day God is notifying us that He is right there, telling us to draw nearer to Him, to grow and mature in our faith with Him, to fall in love with Him and experience a life with Him. But instead, we are inundated with distractions and shiny things that lead us to a life where we allow the noise to drown out the harmony. Fortunately, God has not hidden Himself from this fallen world. Wonder is all around us, but perhaps we need a software upgrade to see it with renewed hearts.

It is up to us to cultivate that wonder.

Cultivate means to acquire, grow, or develop. It is an action we take to open our eyes to witness the wonder. Of all of the emotions that we experience, “awe” is my favorite. Sometimes that awe catches me by surprise, but more often than not, I have to work for it. I have to put down the phone, take my eyes off of brokenness, remove myself from turmoil, replace busyness with stillness, refocus my mind on God, and most importantly, open the pages of His Holy Word. When we remove those distractions we see the incredible wonders that He created. What we see before us is an awesome Creator, Father, Defender, Healer, Savior, and more. Our hearts then transform from a wandering heart to a heart in wonder.

Just over 2000 years ago, kings from the East saw a sign in the sky. Unlike me with my software notification, they didn’t hesitate to follow it. Their wonder grew because they knew what lay resting under the brilliant light. The promised King. They remembered the prophecies from long ago and their thirst for a Savior kept them moving forward. 

“And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshipped him.” Matthew 2:9-11 (ESV)

Behold.

To cultivate wonder, we must first come see what remarkable things God has done. If we behold the wonder of who God is and what He has created, our faith will stretch to bear witness to that wonder. 

“Hear this, O Job; stop and consider the wondrous works of God.” Job 37:14 (NIV)

Rejoice.

Take delight in all God has done. Open the pages of God’s Word and see your world transform. The world held its breath for the birth of a Savior, and when the kings saw the star they were overwhelmed with joy. And then all the world rejoiced for Immanuel — Christ — the Messiah.

“Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them. Full of splendor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures forever. He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered;” Psalms 111:2-4 (NIV)

Adore.

Fall in love with Jesus and worship Him. Every day that we spend time with Him, our hearts fall more and more in love with Him. Every praise that we give Him, sets our hearts on fire for Him. Let your adoration for Him come from all of your being. It is your greatest commandment to do so.

“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Mark 12:30 (NIV)

Let’s not wait until tomorrow for us to access God’s wonder and stand in awe of Him. When you feel that tug to connect with God, stop and pray. Behold Him. Rejoice Him. Adore Him. Cultivate each of those to live a life transformed by His wondrous works.

About the Author

Casey Hilty

Casey Hilty is a writer, speaker, and artist and the author of Her Children Arise – A Bible Study for Moms. As a mom of three, she has plenty of hilarious stories to tell, but most of all, she loves sharing what God has put on her heart. She is a content partner for YouVersion, a contributing writer for Lafayette Mom, and a member of hope*writers and the L’Acadian Art Guild. She started and currently leads MOMentum, a large Bible study group for mothers, at The Bayou Church in Lafayette, Louisiana. Alongside her husband, Bo, the couple leads annual mission trips to Haiti and has a heart for the people and culture there. The Hilty Family lives on a small {itty bitty, teeny-tiny} “farm” in New Iberia, Louisiana with their dogs, cats, goats, chickens and whatever lizards and frogs the kids find that day.

 

 

www.caseyhilty.com

Instagram: @caseyhilty

Facebook: @caseyhilty1

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