Our God is an awesome God
He reigns in heaven above
with wisdom, power and love
our God is an awesome God
Well, it goes something like that. We sing it happily and go home and hum it while we barbecue hamburgers in the backyard or peruse the internet in search of deals on Amazon.
I think we forget what awesome means. We think it means "really great." We use it as a synonym for "fantastic."
Awesome means inspiring awe. In other words, something that is awesome makes us feel awed. To feel awed is to be filled with feelings of reverence and fear, to become aware of the overwhelming greatness of something, and the smallness of ourselves in comparison.
(In contrast, fantastic means incredibly great, as though conceived by a wild imagination. It comes from a Middle English word that has to do with the imagination. )
Here's a story... it will relate, I promise...
When I was expecting our first child, we had a group of friends who got together weekly for Bible study and such. One of the women in the group, Meryl, had a brother who was a wonderful singer and worked on Broadway. He was in Les Miserables, and he was playing the part of Javert. Best of all, their company would be traveling through Syracuse, and we could go and see the play, right here in town. Meryl's brother could get us prime tickets, the very best seats.
One problem... the show was scheduled one week before my due date. The tickets were great, but they were not discounted. Shawn and I decided not to risk it and did not purchase a pair. Everybody else did, though.
In the end, Shannon came two weeks early, so it was a good choice. The night of the play, we were home with our brand new one-week-old baby.
Later, we heard about it. It was a great show, fantastic. Our friends loved it. But they focused on something else. The ones who went, Anthony and Elizabeth, Craig and Becky, and of course Meryl and her husband George, all went out to eat together before the show. And... they went out to eat with Meryl's brother, the one who played Javert. Before the show, they had a rollicking time together, talking and laughing and joking around. Elizabeth, in particular, was a witty young woman who enjoyed bantering with a Broadway actor.
After the show, after the stunning performance, they met up with Meryl's brother again. And at this point everybody remarked on how very changed Elizabeth's demeanor was. She was shy, overwhelmed, possibly (and you don't know how uncharacteristic this was) speechless.
She had met him and known, originally, that he was a Broadway actor. She thought it was pretty amazing to meet him and eat dinner with him and talk to him.
But after she saw him in the play, watched him perform, heard him sing... after that she had a new appreciation for who he was, and she was changed.
I think it will be like this for us when we meet God face to face in the hereafter, except much more so.
We know He is God. We think it is pretty great that He made us and that He sent His only begotten Son to die on the cross to save us.
We like the fact that we can pray to Him.
We are happy that He loves us and watches over us, provides for us, forgives our sins, comforts us and sometimes even heals us.
But somehow, I think, when we see Him face to face in all His glory, when we realize Who He is and what He can really do...
We will be changed.
We will be speechless.
We will know the real meaning of the word awe.