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The Wonder Years

By Missey Butler
CBN Guest Writer -- Do you remember as a child how the summers seemed to last forever? Those humid evenings were spent in breathless pursuit of flickering lightning bugs, while not even being aware of the menacing mosquitoes.

We would also lie on our backs starring at the brightly-lit stars that dressed the dark sky. Our small hands were held up against a dark, glittering night. It looked like we were able to span galaxies between our thumb and our pinky. As small children, we would suck on the stem of a honeysuckle, and quietly enjoy the peaceful melodies of the crickets and bullfrogs.

Somewhere along the line, those rather carefree and easy-going childhood years began to change. All of a sudden, we wanted to hurry and grow up! We could barely wait until our next birthday. After all, we had places to go, a big world to see, and no time to waste.

Early on as a budding adolescent, I remember being visited by a voice that began to insist on answers. It was a gentle, yet sometimes nagging curiosity about life and death. It took up residency in the chambers of my heart and lingered there until I had no other choice but to begin the search.

More often than I would like to admit, my mom had to sentence me to my room for reasons I'd rather not get into. But it was usually during those times of confinement that I would find my way to my parents' nightstand and fall across the bed with the old family Bible.

Whenever I opened it, I was always careful to re-arrange the precious keepsakes I found in the book. There were locks of baby hair, tooth fairy pearls, and vital "family tree info," not to mention pressed dandelions wrapped in cellophane. These were treasured offerings from little hands that had been kept in loving memory by my mom.

Slowly I would turn the thin pages completely captivated by the old renaissance pictures. Hours would pass as I gazed at the detailed drawings of Daniel and the lion's den, Jacob wrestling with the angel, and Moses parting the Red Sea.

One drawing impacted me more than the rest. It was the ominous scene of the Crucifixion of Jesus. I remember feeling deeply moved at the sight of the Son of God being suspended high upon the cross between two thieves. My eyes eagerly sought understanding within the writing on the page below that picture. As I read the passages, it wasn't until I came across the fateful cry, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do," that something began to really happen within me.

Even in the absence of a full understanding of redemption, I remember from my Sunday school lessons the scripture, "There hath no greater love than a man lay down his life for another." It was at that precise moment that a life long desire to know and be known by this man called Jesus was ignited in my Spirit.

My Creator knew exactly what He was doing when He formed me in my mother's womb. He purposely reserved a place that only He could fill. That empty place would be the reason why I would be fascinated while holding a colorful lady bug in the palm of my hand and wonder who the artist was that painted her spots.

Yes, I thank God for my "Wonder Years" and His faithfulness to lead me into all truth. As often as I can, I unfold a blanket under an open sky and admire the handiwork of a very imaginative creator. Although no longer a child, I still catch myself guessing the shapes of passing clouds, and being enamored by a multi-legged caterpillar that rhythmically meanders across the top of my hand.

I can only look up and reverently join in with the mighty chorus of nature declaring how great and awesome is our Creator. For He is truly THE GOD OF ALL WONDERS.

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