Read: Habakkuk 1:1-11
Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told. (v. 5)
The gift of wonder has more to do with what we don’t know than what we do. It leaves space for mystery, which in turn makes room in our lives for the living God to astound us.
While it is true that knowing helps our faith, God cannot be fully known (1 Cor. 13:12). Hebrews 11:1 tells us faith is the evidence of things not seen. What we do know is that Jesus was wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger; what we cannot fathom is why God loved us enough to be wrapped in flesh to begin with. To fully embrace that mystery requires faith.
To children, awe comes naturally, for there is so much they do not know. The fact that they are vulnerable and trusting leads Jesus to point to them as examples of the kingdom of heaven. On the other hand Solomon concludes that increasing knowledge brings increasing sorrow (Eccl. 1:18). We lose our sense of wonder as we grow older. The residue of the fall can speak more loudly than our hope.
The advent of Jesus is in many ways a mystery. God did a work that we “would not believe if told,” and issued an invitation to rest in the gift of wonder, allowing the mystery of God to stretch and inspire our faith.
Giver of good gifts, stretch our faith with the gifts of wonder, awe, and mystery.