A combination of the words “wonder” and “understanding,” where “wonder” signifies both reverence and curiosity.

1) The feeling people have after learning something amazing – describing not only a recognition of the beauty of something (such as the world), but the feeling of increased awe experienced after understanding the true complexity of it.

2) The combination of: “an artist’s wonder at the virtuosity of nature with a scientist’s understanding of how it comes to be.” – author Matt Ridley (describing Richard Dawkins’s “The Greatest Show on Earth”).

Urban Dictionary

You won’t find wonderstanding in any standard dictionary. An internet search finds it listed in the Urban Dictionary, where various unofficial words and phrases live. In fact, every time I type it an angry red line appears underneath, which is normally my cue to fix something I’ve obviously misspelled. However, for the duration of this post I’m refusing to make the correction because even though wonderstanding isn’t an official word, I like it. I’m hoping that someday, just like Pinocchio became a real boy, wonderstanding will become a real word. A guy can dream, right?

If you believe, like I do, that God created us and everything else in our world, an examination of how intricate and amazing it is only deepens your sense of wonder. From a mountain in the distance to a living cell under a microscope, this planet we call home is just amazing. I’ve found the greater my understanding of God’s creation, the greater my sense of wonder, so wonderstanding suits me just fine.

God, I don’t know exactly what heaven will be like
though I’m convinced it will be amazing.
You’ve saved us from hell and tasked us to tell
how Jesus did the saving.
This moment before everlasting
deepen my wonder of you, God
and all you’ve made.
Help me fully understand
the cost Jesus paid
before the earthly me fades.
Give me wonderstanding.

Did life begin all on its own
like a million piece puzzle
into the solar winds thrown?
Wonderstanding sees your purpose, God,
as the one creator behind it all.
The smallest bit of life we can view
and smaller
connects with the rest.
That’s wonderstanding.

Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
John 1:3 NIV

My joy abounds
immersed in your jubilant sounds,
rivers, oceans, waterfalls.
I kneel down before God
in gratitude for it all…
feeling wonderstanding.
Just when I think I know a lot,
you show me just how far I have to go.

All creation rises up, speaking of your glory.
Through all the gifts of sense I discover
a little more of the story.
There’s glorious blinding light
and resounding booming thunder,
the scent of flowers bending in the wind
and the rain heaven sent
speaking more of your wonder.

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;  or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you.  Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this?  In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.
Job 12:7-10

God, help us know
how small we are
in relation to it all
and still how loved
and cherished by you.
Magnificent God,
master musician and artist,
lead us to be stewards,
adventurers, discoverers, teachers,
forever moved
by wonderstanding.

©Joel Tipple