Awestruck, Expect to be Astonished by God

     “Let’s stop and look at the stars,” my friend suggested as we drove home from a Christmas performance of the Susanville Symphony. The violins, cellos, French horns, tubas, trumpets, flutes, and percussion had reverberated through the old church that evening enveloping us with the magnificence of God. Our hearts joined with the instruments in praise during such pieces as “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” and “O Holy Night.” Piling up God’s magnificence with a stop to view the stars sounded good.

We pulled into a turnout scraped clear by snowplows, next to an expansive meadow. There was no moon to diminish the luster of the night sky, it stretched above us like a bolt of midnight velvet unfurled and stitched with translucent sequins.

“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” Psalm 19:1

I do not have much knowledge of astronomy, but I do know that God placed the stars in the heavens, He remembers them, and sustains them.

“He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names.” Psalm 147:4

We looked upwards in awe. It was just for a few minutes, one very cold winter night before Christmas. But that seems to be the way we see God’s magnificence. It is a delightful surprise because it manifests when we least expect it.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines magnificent as “impressive to the mind and spirit; strikingly beautiful; exceptionally fine.”

In July I wrote a blog about a television episode of “From the Source” with Chef Katie Button, when she explored the unique aspects of maple syrup. I was awestruck to learn sap from Sugar Maple trees is not all the same. In fact, the sap from each individual tree changes, tasting different every time it is extracted because it is impacted by the seasons, temperature, barometric pressure, and even the phases of the moon.

I wrote: “God is so creative He never has to repeat what He has done. I have always read there are no two snowflakes alike, but now I know if the maple syrup I pour on my pancakes from one bottle tastes like the syrup I pour from another bottle, the unique flavor the tree produced when the sap was drained has been masked. There are no two maple syrups alike. God only does extraordinary things.”

The show had me mesmerized because I saw the magnificence of God, just as I did during the Christmas concert and looking up at the brilliant stars on a moonless night. In the summer the hummingbirds in my garden bring awe. I read they are the most agile birds on the planet and can hover, fly backward, and even upside down for brief periods.

My husband came across a book on health that so amazed him he had to share it with me. The author was discussing the benefits of broccoli… all the usual stuff like the fact it is a good source of vitamins A, C, and K. But wait… here’s the surprise that magnifies the magnificence of God. Broccoli provides a chemical called sulforaphane, a sulfur compound. “This substance doesn’t exist in broccoli, but when we chew it, enzymes in our saliva combine with sulforaphane’s precursors contained in the vegetable, and, presto, there it is, like a magic trick,” writes author Darin Olien. “The sulforaphane then activates two hundred different genes, some of them protecting us from cancer and others preventing the disease’s spread.”1

I love to be delighted by God. To be stunned by His magnificence. I will wait expectantly each day to see what unfolds. Please join me!

Let’s Talk:

1-Have you ever been astonished by God? If so, share your experience in the comment section.

2-In your opinion what prevents us from being awestruck? How might we prepare our hearts to see the magnificence of God daily?


1-“Superlife: The 5 Simple Fixes that will Make you Healthy, Fit, and Eternally Awesome” by Darin Olien. HarperCollins Publisher New York, NY.

©2022 Susan Cort Johnson *All Rights Reserved

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