God's Wow Factor

by Christa Rose Bartlett

Every Christmas wish list is filled with toys possessing a “wow” factor. The “wow” can be a reaction to a new technology—such as Webkinz or Liv Dolls—that interacts with an online world, or to clever mechanisms—like Transformers or Bakugan Battle Brawlers.

Of course, not everyone reacts the same way to a toy. Manufacturers originally rejected many popular toys, from classics like Slinky and Monopoly to modern innovations like Air Hogs. But after Monopoly printed billions in fake money and Air Hogs produced more airplanes than Boeing, the critics were proven wrong.

Can you imagine what it’d be like if humans were created by toy manufacturers? What “wow” factors would we possess?

We might have buttons to push, lights and sounds, or look like action figures. Maybe we’d have wheels that pop out of our feet when we wanted to go to a friend’s house. Or how about interchangeable body parts like Mr. Potato Head? That could be fun.

But you’d have to forget about being unique. There would be thousands or even millions of others exactly like you. Weird, right?

No plastic, mass-produced, electronic marvel can compare to the complex miracle of God’s creation. Your Creator loves you more than you can imagine.

And that’s where the motives and method of our heavenly Creator contrast with those of an earthly inventor. Toy inventors try to create a “wow” to make money and provide entertainment. But God puts His value inside of you, because you are created in His image. Wow!

At this time of year, amid all the shopping and activity, it can be easy to overlook the Nativity. If we take a moment to look at the first Christmas, we’ll see how God’s design blows away anything that humans could ever invent.


“The Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive, have a son, and name him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).

The fact that God, the almighty Creator and ultimate Inventor of everything, would care about each one of us and come to Earth to live among us, is astounding. Immanuel means, “God with us.” If we want to know what God is like, we can study Jesus: His compassion, strength, love, justice and forgiveness. He sacrificed himself to cover our sinful choices, something we can’t do with our own good deeds. By committing our lives to Jesus, we step into a relationship with God—the most powerful and loving being in the universe. Wow!


“This has happened so that the prophetic Scriptures would be fulfilled” (Matthew 26:56).

In Luke 2, baby Jesus fulfilled prophecies made hundreds of years before His birth: He was born in Bethlehem, a descendant of Jesse in the tribe of Judah. During His life, death and resurrection, Jesus fulfilled more than 300 Old Testament prophecies. The chances of any one man in history fulfilling even just eight prophecies is incredibly small. Two professors estimated the scientific probability and found that it was one in 100 quadrillion! (That’s 1 followed by 17 zeros.) There’s just no way that someone could “accidentally” fulfill all those prophecies. Wow!


“When the completion of the time came, God sent His Son” (Galatians 4:4).

Waiting to tear into your Christmas presents can be torturous. But God’s timing is always perfect. He sent His Son to Earth at just the right time so we could know Him and become His children. As great as it is to open a present and find a new toy, that excitement soon wears off. When we accept God as our Savior, the excitement of knowing Him lasts forever. Wow!


“An angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified” (Luke 2:9).

The angels in the Christmas story had to reassure the trembling humans by saying, “Do not be afraid.” They must have been pretty awesome to look at. These heavenly agents beat all the superheroes and action figures you’ve ever seen. And behind these warriors is a God who knows you better than you know yourself. Not only that, but God knows who you can be and where you’re going. Wow!


I Need You

Every Christmas, toy manufacturers try to come up with the next phenomenon to make kids say, “Wow! I need you!”

Built into each one of us is a much deeper need—one that can only be filled with God’s love. This year’s coolest toys will eventually fade from memory, or another toy inventor will come up with something even cooler. The next time you pick up a toy or flip through a Christmas catalog, remember our awesome God who made you with amazing complexity and care.

When He looks at you, He always says, “Wow!” And He longs for you to look back at Him and shout, “Wow! I need You!”

Copyright © 2011 by Christa Rose Bartlett. Used by permission. Clubhousemagazine.com; Photo © Allie Towers Rice/Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.