The other day I came across a passage within the Bible from Luke which stated, ‘He astonished the crowds’, and unexpectedly it got me thinking more deeper about the message God was wanting to give to me. First I thought about what it means to be astonished, to be amazed, impressed, overwhelmed? When I thought more deeply about it I realized that in my life I found it very hard to ‘impress’ one person, whether it be because I looked up to them or because their presence overwhelmed me. In fact I realized that many-a-time I have failed to impress just one individual, and yet here Jesus was astonishing groups of people.

I then thought about my life and I asked myself when have I felt astonished, and is it God who astonishes me? After deep thoughts I realized I had two answers to this question. Firstly, simply waking up in the morning, meeting individuals who inspire and teach me, looking at my surroundings, the beauty, and being able to feel love and joy in my heart, I would say ‘Yes, this is Jesus astonishing me’. My second reply would be when I’ve felt angry and hurt, when I have completely turned my back on the Lord and gone astray, when I’ve believed he has left my side. And yet, looking back on these moments, I realised that it was when I was the weakest and it was in those times that God carried me and made me the strongest. From this Scripture I had an image of a sweet jar and a friend slowly taking a sweet out one at a time and myself only realising when the jar was empty. I thought this represents all of our lives: we have a best friend, Christ who slowly takes our pain and worries away, yet being human beings we expect a sudden change, something to happen right away. But this image of one sweet being taken away at a time helped me to realise that, in fact, as I look back on my life, the Lord has been at my side. It was me being too foolish to recognise this and how he has slowly transformed my life and given me gifts and talents throughout my ongoing journey to become a disciple of His.