Three year old Kallie was nestled safely in her Uncles arms as they waited in line to see Santa at the local tree lighting ceremony. Uncle Brian quietly stepped out of line and worked his way to the window of Santa’s house. Pointing and in a whispered tone, “There he is.” She saw him, she saw Santa! She was so excited she began to shake and squirm. In her extreme joy and not knowing how to express her amazement, she boldly placed both hands on her uncles face, and kissed his cheek with everything within her. She … was … thrilled!
What is it for us that causes us such thrill? A favorable outcome to a ball game? An unexpected bonus check that has just been handed to us. Watching someone sincerely walk up the aisle for the altar call. Or even as simple as awakend at 3:00am, in the quiet night you hear the echoing sounds of an owl calling to another. Thrilling! Some big and some just special enough for … you.
How about God and God stuff, does that thrill us? Does HE thrill us? Psalm 92:4 is attributed to David as he wrote, “You thrill me, LORD, with all You have done for me! I sing for joy because of what You have done.” (emphasis mine) Some translations use happy, rejoice and glad, yet those alone don’t seem to magnify what David was attempting to proclaim. Pause for a brief moment and think about David. As he left the hills of his fathers fields, to the courtyards of Saul’s mansion, to the victories of battle, to his reigning years as King. We can’t deny his many failures, and frankly his stupid mistakes. Yet, regardless, he knew. He thanked. He praised. He was in AWE of his God.
The word thrill is ‘Samah’ (saw-mock, ending with a deep guttural throat sound) a Hebrew verb, meaning extreme joy, but it doesn’t stop there! This joy causes the lighting up of the eyes, spontaneous feeling of jubilance. A feeling so strong that it finds expression in some external act. Joyful awe.
Devouring many scholars take on this, I was stopped in my research tracks when I came to: “Samah is not meant to be kept to one’s self, it is meant to be shared!” So David penned, “You thrill me LORD!” For all to read. I feel compelled to ask, “Do we allow, or even invite God to thrill us, to be our Awe Maker?”
Jesus and the disciples were in a boat out on the water, a ravaging storm comes up, the disciples do what most men would do… they freak! Jesus stands, exclaims, “Quiet! Be still!” The wind died down and it was completely calm. The narrative says, “The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” (Matt. 8, Mark 4, Luke 8) AWE.
A more intimate example, John 20, Thomas struggles with doubt about what they say about Jesus, that He had indeed risen from the dead. Jesus now stands in front of him, His nail pierced hands extended towards Thomas. Thomas responds, “My Lord and my God!” It doesn’t say it in print, but I am fully persuaded Thomas fell to his knees. Wonderment, respect, reverence, overwhelming joy. Awe.
Spurgeon so eloquently shares, “If we are unbelieving, it is not Gods fault, for He goes out of His way to teach us faith—and sometimes He even gives what we have no right to ask, what we have no reason to expect. We are so weak, so ignorant, so prone to unbelief that He will do anything to create, sustain and strengthen our faith in Him!”
I love it when God shows off with fabulous sunsets, a white seagull soaring with the backdrop of bright blue sky. Fall colors blazing the trees, or the cry of a newborn baby. Go God!
May we not belittle or mock Your brilliance Lord, but invite and EMBRACE You as our Awe Maker, go out of Your way! Open our eyes, unstop our ears, calm our storms, show us Your hand, all in doing so, we share with others. A seemingly silly example, but it paints the picture, just like Kallies uncle, “There he is…”
“You thrill me Lord!”
In Him, DeDe
(“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds.” – Heb. 10:24)