When faced with big and small life challenges, the secret of cultivating resilience and the ability to bounce back is through focusing on how awesome God is. While David Shelton was recovering from wrist surgery, he learned the secret of bouncing back from problems from his 12 year old daughter who helped him remember the healing power of meditating on God’s awesomeness.
The Wrist Surgery
It’s hard to type when you only have one hand. For that I’m grateful for software that helps you by typing as you talk. (No, I’m not going to endorse a product here…) In my last article How to Suffer Well I talked about spraining my wrist. I didn’t realize just how good I was at injuring myself. I did a really good job. I did such a good job that I had to have the cyst removed that formed as a result of the accident. I’m hoping that the removal means the end to pain that I couldn’t figure out in my right wrist.
Blessed by My Daughters’ Love and Care
During my recovery period I have learned a few things. One of the things I learned is just how much my daughters love me. They brought me drinks, fluffed my pillow, put lotion on my hands that were drying out, and winced with me every time I did something that caused my surgically-repaired right metatarsal appendage to hurt. They also showed me how much they love me because they listen to me. They listen to what I am teaching them about the God I serve.
The Silly Song Tradition that Helped Heal
One of my favorite things to do for my parents is to rewrite popular songs and put words to them that are silly, and reference things that mean something to just us. If I posted the words that talk about chasing squirrels, The St. Louis Cardinals or QVC it wouldn’t mean much. To my parents, the songs are a good opportunity to laugh until they cry. All I can say is, Tim Hawkins, you are in inspiration to me.
Because of that silly song writing I do, my daughters have aspirations to be silly songwriters…and sometimes serious song writers. My youngest came up to my office last week and was working hard on trying to find the words to put into song. Here is what she came up with:
“Our God is awesome:
Elegant and Exalted*
Do you see that? My sixth-grader was making an acrostic from the one word that really only describes God. Okay, I know, that sunset over the white sands of Antigua is awesome, but God is more awesome than the sunset He created. I say that He is more awesome because of the words she came up with to describe what “awesome” is in reference to God. Yeah, I know there are not two “e’s” on the end of “awesome” but one word there was not enough for her.
My heart sang its own song. I thanked God that my littlest girl believes that these are the words to describe God and who He is: “Almighty, Wondrous, Everlasting, Son of Man, Elegant and Exalted.”
The Healing Power of Meditating on God’s Awesomeness and His Care
What do you think of God? A popular song from the 1960’s that found its way into the 1991 Baptist Hymnal asks the question of believing in a “more than just a God who didn’t care, who lives a way out there?”** Maybe that’s your question, too. He’s not personal. He’s not that awesome. Why do we, the authors and contributors to this website, believe that God is awesome?
A man who did not believe in God once had to acknowledge who God is. This was a king, and not just any king. He was Cyrus, king of Persia…the ruler of most of the world at that time…and he acknowledged who God is after seeing God rescue His servant, Daniel, from certain death in a den of lions. Have you read these words? Read them again with me:
“For He is the living God, enduring forever; His kingdom shall never be destroyed, and His dominion shall be to the end. He delivers and rescues; He works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, He who has saved Daniel from the power of the lions.” (Daniel 6:26b-27, ESV)
In a particular tough time just this week, I stood in my office and stared at those words. I have them printed out and hanging on the wall. I look at them every time I wanted to quit, throw up my hands, and walk away. Every time I was hurting and I couldn’t brush my teeth with my right hand. Every time I praised God, something seemed to go wrong…but I looked at those words and praised God still.
As Chris Tomlin and friends pointed out in song “Whom Shall I Fear”:
“I know who goes before me,
I know who stand behind.
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side.”***
That is who I want as the object of my worship. A God who cares, who wants to have a relationship with me, and who is more than just a genie who grants my every wish. He gives me what I need…not always what I want…and that makes Him just as awesome, because sometimes what I need is better than what I want.
This is the awesome God, creator of heaven and earth, sustainer of all things, the One who sits enthroned in abject majesty, yet He loves me so much more than I can imagine. He shuts the mouth of lions, he raises the dead, he walks on water, he makes something out of nothing, and he refreshes my life.
Why do we serve Him and implore you, dear reader, to come to a personal relationship with Him? As the Apostle Paul wrote in the 5th chapter of the book 2 Corinthians:
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is appealing through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.” He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:20-21, HCSB)
This “awesome” God, “Almighty, Wondrous, Everlasting, Son of Man, Elegant and Exalted”, created the path through Jesus Christ for us to be “reconciled” to him. With all I have written about him in the above words, how could you say no?
Our Awesome God Prayer
Pray with me today to know the one true God, Jehovah…Yahweh…his son, Jesus Christ, and his Spirit that is with us right now:
“Awesome God of heaven and earth, not only do I bend my knee to you today, I bow my heart. I believe in you. I trust you with my life, and I give you my heart and soul. Make me new. Help me to know you as you are…awesome…Almighty, Wondrous, Everlasting, Son of Man, Elegant and Excellent. In the name of your son, Jesus, I pray, amen.”
*(“Our God is Awesome”, E.K. Shelton, 2013)
**(“He’s Everything to Me”, Ralph Carmichael, 1964, Communique’ Music/ASCAP)
***(Whom Shall I Fear, Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, Scott Cash, 2012 sixstepsrecords/Sparrow Records)
Copyright 2013 David E. Shelton, all rights reserved.