I Stand Amazed



I saw a photograph on a friend's social media page last year, and the image was striking.  It was a young girl standing on a shore, gazing out into the ocean, with a gorgeous sky overhead, as well as reflected in the wet sand beneath her feet.  I immediately asked permission to paint it at some point.  As I looked at it, I wondered what the child must have been thinking as she stood there so small in this big creation.  I thought about how I would feel in that place.

So, here are the very random thoughts that filled my mind as I worked on this piece.  The whole time I was painting, the songs "I Stand in Awe of You" and "I Stand Amazed in the Presence" were in my mind and on my heart.    

Cloud-filled skies, whether brightly-lit or dark and stormy; sunsets that light up clouds and atmosphere in a magical way that glows silver, gold, or platinum; or just plain blue sunny skies...they all make me think of how amazing the creation is, and how awesome the God who created it is.  The sky is so vast, and we are so small below it.  Somehow, this feeling is always 1000x greater when I'm standing on a shore looking out at the seemingly endless expanse of heavens and waters.  It makes me think of eternity.

We are so small.  The earth is huge and wondrous, and Genesis 1 tells us it was SPOKEN into existence...that's  overwhelming!  AND, the same God that spoke it into existence holds every detail of it and us in his hands today...that's exciting!  AND, as small as this one child looks standing on the edge of the ocean and sky, she is a precious treasure and loved by that same God, as each and every one of us is.  He is so great and so magnificent that He could speak these heavens and earth into existence, yet He is so loving and caring that He knows how many hairs are on our heads (Luke 12:7).  Not just one of us, but every person on earth.  That's a LOT of hair counts to keep count of!  He knows each of our thoughts!  I can't keep track of my own thoughts, and He knows everyone's. I can't comprehend His greatness, but I know it's true.  

The majesty and awesomeness of God can't be figured out.  I remember sitting with my dad in his dark green vinyl recliner when I was about 5 years old.  He was telling me about Heaven, about God, and about eternity.  I was asking questions.   It's one of those ordinary instances that I have forever burned in my mind.  Two pairs of bare feet resting on the green foot rest.  His large, mine small.  I studied a freckle on my little toe, and thought how strange my toes really looked when I separated them as far apart as I could.  The things he told me, though, they were not ordinary.  They were beyond words!  Eternity? How can there never have been a beginning for God?  I couldn't understand.  God wants us to spend eternity in Heaven with Him? With NO END, forever and ever and ever x infinity?  How can that be?  He loves us so much that He sent His only Son to pay our debt on the cross?  Just thinking of one of these aspects is overwhelming.  I remember being in that chair and wanting to never stop thinking about or talking about God.  I never wanted to stop thinking about living in Heaven with Him forever and ever...Heaven, with all of the glorious descriptions my dad retold from the Bible...pearly gates, golden streets, mansions, God!  My dad told me that if we, in our human minds, could understand God, His greatness, or the plans He has, then He wouldn't be such a big God.   

Sometimes, I feel like I "get over" the excitement of God; of how mighty and powerful He is; of how deep His love is for us; of how never-ending eternity is, no matter where it is spent; of how unspeakable and unimaginable the beauty of Heaven really is; of how great a debt He paid for my sin; of how righteous and holy He is; of how humbling it is that a sinner like me can go to Him in prayer and have a relationship with this righteous, holy, and majestic King of Kings; of how His children have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us...for real!    Those are things I should never get over.  I want to be excited about Him every single moment of every single day, and I want my life to show my love and excitement for Him.  

That's what I think of when I think of this image.  I think God's creation is a daily reminder all around us that He gave us to make us aware of Him.

Here are the lyrics to the songs, although in full disclosure, I didn't know them all when I was singing along to myself...I hummed through parts:


I Stand in Awe ~ by Mark Altrogge

You are beautiful beyond description
Too marvelous for words
Too wonderful for comprehension
Like nothing ever seen or heard
Who can grasp your infinite wisdom?
Who can fathom the depth of your love?
You are beautiful beyond description
Majesty, enthroned above

You are beautiful beyond description
Yet God crushed You for my sin
In agony and deep affliction 
Cut off that I might enter in
Who can grasp such tender compassion?
Who can fathom this mercy so free?
You are beautiful beyond description
Lamb of God who died for me

And I stand, I stand in awe of You
I stand, I stand in awe of You
Holy God, to whom all praise is due
I stand in awe of You

I Stand Amazed in the Presence ~ by Charles Gabriel

I stand amazed in the presence 
Of Jesus the Nazarene
And wonder how He could love me
A sinner, condemned, unclean

For me it was in the garden
He prayed, "Not my will, but thine"
He had no tears for his own grief
But sweat-drops of blood for mine

He took my sins and my sorrows
He made them his very own
He bore the burden to Calvary
And suffered and died alone

How marvelous! How wonderful!
And my song shall ever be
How marvelous! How wonderful!
Is my Savior's love for me







He made my sins and my sufferings his very own by taking them upon himself, carrying them to Calvary, where he suffered and died by himself.
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