I want to be "astonished beyond measure." That's how Mark describes people's responses to a miracle Jesus performed in Mark 7:37. Not just astonished, but "astonished beyond measure!" (ESV) "Utterly astonished!" (NASB) "Overwhelmed with amazement!" (NIV)
So how does that verse fit with the fact that when I've sometimes heard a person expressing surprise regarding answered prayer, it hasn't been unusual to hear someone ask, "Why are you surprised? Didn't you believe God would answer your prayers?" Well this is how I want to answer such questions from now on: The people of the Decapolis believed in Jesus enough to bring a deaf and mute man to Him, begging Jesus to simply lay His hand on him so that he would be healed. And when "his ears were opened" and "his tongue was released" (Mark 7:35), it says the people were "astonished beyond measure!" So if the people who believed Jesus for such a significant miracle can still end up being that astonished when the miracle occurred, then why can't we be happily surprised when God answers our prayers?
Being astonished doesn't mean we lack belief. It simply means that God has just done something amazing! Something we couldn't have done ourselves. Something that's intended to result in God being glorified through the amazement of everyone who witnessed it!
So as I said, I want to be astonished beyond measure. Shock me Lord! Amaze me. Wow me. Leave my mouth hanging open. And I'll keep coming to You, asking for things that will astonish and amaze me when you answer those prayers.
© 2010 by Ken Peters
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