On Sunday morning October 14th 2012, I was waking up to modest birthday celebrations. At about the same time an Austrian man named Felix Baumgartner jumped out of a balloon that had ascended 128,000 feet into the edge of space. As he peered down, moments before he took the plunge he tweeted these fabulous words: “Live from space! World, you are beautiful.”
I love to see pictures of our planet, whether as a small, generally blue, ball floating amidst many stars or in the intricacy of atoms and cells that make up different tiny bits of matter. It is all so stunning and awe-inspiring and it causes me to declare that the world is indeed beautiful. But then I want to go further than that and declare how much more wonderful, how much greater, how much more incredible is the architect and creator of this world.
There is a wonderful passage in Romans 11, after Paul has spent many chapters declaring all that God has done for us, when he appears unable to restrain himself any longer. Paul has become so excited, so overwhelmed by the sheer majestic glory of God that he declares; God, you are beautiful! He doesn’t quite use those words but look for yourself at Romans 11:33-36 and you will see that he bursts out with praise and worship at the glory of God.
Perhaps you are too macho to feel comfortable about using the word ‘beautiful’ to describe God so how about wonderful, incredible, fantastic? Whichever adjective you want to use, how often do you stop and realise just how amazing God is, and then allow that thought to develop into worship?
The bible tells us that God delights in the praises of his people. That means he relishes whatever expressions of praise and worship we feel able and inspired to give to him. We don’t need to go into a church building to do so (although that’s somewhere that many people find helpful). We don’t even have to stand on the precipice of space and travel 24 miles into the skies, but we do need to tell him when our hearts are moved and we find him and his works to be awe-inspiring.
There is a song we use occasionally at Castle Hill written by Mark Altrogge * that contains these words;
‘You are beautiful beyond description,
too marvellous for words,
too wonderful for comprehension,
like nothing ever seen or heard.
Who can grasp your infinite wisdom?
Who can fathom the depths of your love?
You are beautiful beyond description, Majesty enthroned above.’
And the refrain of that song is simply to stand in awe!
How often do you stand in awe of God? How frequently do you stop and look at him and declare he is beautiful or wonderful or incredible or whatever you want to say?
How readily do we praise him simply because he is God?
* Words & music by Mark Altrogge © 1987 People of Destiny International administered by CopyCare