Thursday, December 29, 2011


"To be in a state of surprise or amazement, a cause of astonishment or surprise."These are some of Webster's definitions of " wonder." We just celebrated Christmas, ( the birth of Christ ) this past Sunday. What a blessing it was to be in a church full of people on Christmas morning! That afternoon we had dinner and the opening of gifts together. There are fourteen of us now, seven being the grandchildren. The most exciting time is to watch the children open gifts because they are still filled with " wonder".

The two oldest grandchildren are now teens. They chose to open gifts with the adults this year. We all watched the little ones as they shouted and exclaimed over each gift! The teens, watching with us, remembered that intoxicating state of wonder that only a child knows on Christmas morning.

This past July my husband began a cancer drug that had just been approved for metastatic pancreatic cancer. After dealing with cancer for over nine years, his body was about to surrender . The doctor had said those dreaded words: "I've done all I can do." That was the exact month that the drug was approved for this type of cancer.

After ninety days on the drug, a CT scan showed "remarkable improvement!" The radiologist was clearly in a state of wonder! He was amazed by the results he saw because he was the one who had been treating my husband and had done all he could do to help with the pain and the growing tumors.

It was at that exact moment that God spoke to my heart in such a way that it astounded me! I had been watching and noticing an improvement everyday. Before the drug, we were talking about and making plans for the seemingly imminent death. The most difficult thing to deal with in cancer is not so much death as it is suffering . To see his improvement and hear these results has brought back wonder to my walk with God. Not for the reason you may think. The reason is that God has shown Himself to me in such an intimate way. He has once again made me realize that He is concerned with the details of our lives. He is the source of my wonder. Without Him there would only be science, statistics and emptiness behind the improvements.

Something else amazed me. It was the lack of "wonder" in so many. It wasn't that they didn't care, just that they didn't seem to see the hand of an awesome God in it all! The greatest response of all, besides in our children, came from the radiologist. Perhaps he needed to see for himself that God is still in control of our lives. Who knows what this wonder may do for him?

Week after week, we go to church and meet with people who have lost the wonder of a loving Savior who came to earth for us. He wants to be intimate with us, not just someone we talk about. To lose the wonder of Him is far worse than losing the "magic" of Christmas morning.

How wonderful it would be to meet with a church body that is filled with the wonder of an awesome God! There would be a packed house every service with the anticipation of coming to worship Him! We all need a rediscovery of the amazement of God.

"Thou hast made us for thyself, oh Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in thee." Augustine


NanaDiana said...

Hi Denise- I found you through your wonderful, dear daughter, Julie! I am signing up as your newest follower. I, too, am a pastor's wife-he is now a chaplain at the hospital where I used to work. I sooooo GET IT...what this life is like. Blessings to you as you navigate the waters of Blogland! Hugs- Diana

Chrissy & Nate said...

So glad to be following your blog: I follow your daughter's blog (Less than perfect life of bliss) and when I saw that your blog was geared to pastor's wives, it tugged at me. My husband JUST started his first pastorate yesterday (Jan. 1). We are a young, newlywed couple (we have been married for 2.5 years), so I am eager to read about your experience in this field :) Thanks!

Elise said...

Thank you for this post. I'm a missionary wife whose husband had a heart transplant last winter... and we are constantly dealing with a lot of health scares and challenges. I'm encouraged by your post and I hope you keep this blog up! I'll be reading =)

Julie said...

I look forward to reading your blog!! I was Abby's 3rd grade teacher (I just love her!)at Temple while my husband was in Seminary at Crown. We are at a church in NC now and I know by reading your blog it will really encourage young preacher's wives!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Denise! This is Megan (Gwen and Mitch Swafford's oldest daughter?) We lived down the road from you and attended your church in Morristown years ago :) I have been reading Julie's blog and keep up with her on facebook - so glad to see you have started a blog too! My mom speaks of you often and always wonders how you are.. Hope you have a Happy New Year and a blessed day ~ Megan