God of Wonder, God with Us

by Daytona Swarbrick

A glowing sunset, a rainbow bursting out of a cloud, the brilliant colour and scent of a blooming tree and the stars scattered across the night sky. I wonder and I marvel at the things of nature. It’s a feeling that there is something beyond myself and my power and my understanding – a grandeur and inspiration that lifts you and me out of the mundane to the extraordinary. There is a God of wonders beyond our galaxy! All of creation calls His name! He is made known because He pursues me! Approaching Christmas this year I do so with a sense of wonder. If creation is full of His wonders, how much more wondrous is it to be with Him who makes us to see, smell and taste? 

He is not only with us, but He actively pursues us. To us a child is born – a child is given for us and though this child was the revelation of the living God, He was born to lowly people who had to give birth in a barn. He was persecuted by a jealous king. The child was a refugee in Africa! He was vulnerable. This vulnerability is His strength. Not in power or in might, but by the Spirit He comes and breathes the air that He created. He saw, He felt, He walked the same ground we walk. He comes to us!

Maranatha! It’s a word we have gotten used to saying at Hands at Work. The meaning of this word means ‘Come Lord’. It’s a simple prayer in which we ask God to be present to us. We have spent much time encouraging Care Workers in many African communities to make this the upmost priority while caring for the orphaned, widows and dying. Care Workers expect this Creator of the universe to go with them as they visit children in their homes and feed and care for the children of their community because these children are children of the living God!

We have a season in the church calendar to celebrate the coming of the Lord. Advent is the time leading up to Christmas in which we anticipate Christ being present to us. It’s during this time each year that we prepare our hearts for His presence.

He is more wondrous than all of creation! He is the God who was, who is and who is to be. He is Emmanuel – God with us. 

 …Day and night without ceasing they sing,

“Holy, Holy, Holy,

The Lord God Almighty,

Who was and is and is to come.”

Revelation 4:8 (NRSV) 


My wife Kristi and I have been with Hands at Work for over two years. We were married 17 years ago in the Vancouver area of Canada where we came from to be at Hands. I serve on the Communications Team at the Hub in South Africa. Growing up I always thought I’d be a rock star, but history had something else in store for me. If my music wasn’t going to change the world, certainly I could contribute some small thing to building God’s Kingdom. I have no claim to fame. I have not written a book or won an election, but feel free to ask me about my cat! - Daytona