LINGER IN THE WONDER

WORDS BY ANNALIESE LUNA

On the second day I almost quit. What was I thinking, writing a daily devotional as a new mum? Add that hat to the other ones I wear: wife, pastor, business owner, and I didn’t really need to put the pressure on myself. Here we are though, halfway through the year, and I cannot fathom living 2016 without my daily discipline.

The concept for my 'Linger in the Wonder' devotional is simple: pause for a moment each day to find the awe in the ordinary. For me, this means looking to creation. It might be the sunrise, or the sunset, or something in between that halts my attention and causes me to ponder the Creator God who fashioned the earth in all its magnificence.  Alongside this, I take a contemplative look at the Psalms, choosing a verse that resonates with the particular moment of wonder each day. 

The goal is to connect the timeless poetry and human reality of the Psalms to my personal everyday experience of the Eternal God through His creation. Here are a few samples of my linger moments:

(North Wall, Ballina)

(North Wall, Ballina)

"O God, be lifted up above the heavens; may Your glory cover the earth." Psalm 57:5

The dramatic skies and seas point my thoughts skyward. I am humbled by Your power and Your majesty. I stand in awe of Your greatness.

My heart resounds: be lifted up. Be lifted high above the heavens. Be lifted high in my life. Be lifted high in my family. Be lifted high in all I put my hand to.

May Your glory cover the earth, and may it be known here in my community.

(Watego's beach, Byron Bay)

(Watego's beach, Byron Bay)

"Teach me how to do Your will, for You are my God." Psalm 143:10a

These pebbles are shaped and rounded by the sea and the sand. As the water washes over them, they tumble and turn, and all the rough edges become smooth.

Likewise, as I pray this psalm, "teach me how to do Your will", I know that I am placing my life in His hands, for Him to wash over me. As I learn to do His will, the rough edges become smooth. At times it may feel like I am tumbling and turning in the waves, yet I know that I am being shaped by my God in His unfailing love. 

(Mindil Beach, Darwin)

(Mindil Beach, Darwin)

"God stretched out in these heavens a tent for the sun, and the sun is like a groom who, after leaving his room, arrives at the wedding in splendour" Psalm 19:4b-5a

Tonight my family went to watch the sun set at a popular tourist beach in Darwin. As the setting of the sun approached, the beach literally filled up with a couple of thousand other people. Everyone stood in awe for a brief few minutes, watching the sun slip behind the horizon, seemingly disappearing into the sea. I wondered how many people standing on that beach recognise that there is Divine Creator who orchestrates the movements of the sun on a daily basis.

Indeed, as this psalm so poetically describes, the Eternal God stretched out a tent in the heavens for this sun, causing it to be hung in the perfect position to sustain life on planet Earth. Even more, the psalmist describes the sun as like a groom appearing on his wedding day in splendour. Tonight, thousands of people gathered on just one beach to see this awesome display of God's majesty, beauty, and perfection.

May I never lose the wonder. May I always pause to worship the Creator rather than creation itself. May I see each movement of the sun for what it is: a majestic display of Your splendor. 

ANNALIESE LUNA

Annaliese has been involved in full time ministry at C3 Church Byron Bay Ballina since 2004. Famously single for many years, in 2014 she married Santi, and a year later became mum to Luciana. Her life goal is to visit Antarctica.