so I got to thinking, if being “awful” is a bad thing, then is being “awless” a good thing? It would stand to reason that this would be so. The dictionary definition of awful includes the words, “horrible, disgusting, repulsive, terrible, nasty, odious”, as synonyms, so you get the idea. Being “awless” or without these things would seem to be preferable to being full of them.
But I can’t get around the thought that to be awful is to be “full of aw” or actually full of awe. And the definition of “awe” is “a feeling of reverential respect or fear or wonder or astonishment or amazement”. Sure enough, the archaic definition of awful is, “inspiring reverential fear or wonder, impressive”. So something that was awful used to be something or someone that was truly impressive or amazing, capable of inspiring reverence and wonder in the beholder, leaving them “full of awe”. This is just the opposite of how we use the word awful today.
This got me to thinking about the word “wonderful”. I would rather go through life full of a sense of wonder than without it, hence “wonderless”. (not to be confused with “wanderlust”) That’s what we all like about small children, they haven’t yet lost their sense of wonder. To them, the world is still a magical, delightful place, full of new things just waiting to be discovered. Every day is wonderful, full of the wonder of all God’s creation surrounding us, reminding us just how wonderful He is.
Many of us lose our sense of wonder somewhere along the way and wish that we could get it back. I would rather walk through this world full of wonder than without it. To be wonderless is to be lacking something essential in life’s journey. The ability to feel reverent fear and astonishment toward our Creator is necessary if we are to truly worship Him.
The song says He is an “awesome God” , but He is also an “awful” God in the truest sense of the word, meaning He is full of awe inspiring characteristics, such as His majesty and power and glory and omnipotence and eternality. Realizing who God truly is should fill us with awe in His presence.
I want to live filled with wonder and awe in God’s presence. If I lose these gifts, I will live a wonderless, aweless life, not the abundant life God intended for me. May my heart be full of awe and wonder when I worship Him. He is the God of miracles and of mercy. He alone is worthy of praise.
” . . . I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above Him were seraphs, . . . and they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of His glory.'”(Isaiah 6:1-3)
“O Lord my God, You are very great; You are clothed with splendor and majesty. He wraps Himself in light as with a garment; He stretches out the heavens like a tent and lays the beams of His upper chambers on their waters.” (Psalm 104:1-3)
truly wonderful, truly awful for sure,
sincerely, Grace Day