When you live in the country it is easy to find God’s creation. If you live in the city it is a little more challenging. But don’t fret. There are many ways to find hope, joy, and peace in nature.
How to find hope, joy, and peace in nature
God has given to us so much to enjoy and appreciate in the world around us. We too are part of His creation. He has blessed us with our senses so we can be dazzled by His handiwork and find hope, joy, and peace in nature.
What does it look like?
Our eyes are a marvelous gift. As you look around at God’s creation, first thank Him for your eyes. Look at the colors of flowers, how they differ. Look at the detail of different plants. Look at the intricacies of bird feathers. Look at how some of the smallest creatures carry on life without any help from us. Where do they live? What in nature is pleasing to your eyes? You are welcome to comment below.
What does it sound like?
Nature emits so many sounds, from trickling water to crashing waves, tweets and chirps of birds, the mooing of cows, gently breezes, and clucks of mama hens to name a few. Close your eyes when you are away from the city and listen. What do you hear? Write it down. Sound is a gift from God. It enhances the pleasure that He gives us in nature. What sounds do you like in nature? I would love to hear your comments.
What does it feel like?
Plants have many different textures. Tree trunks are usually rough, but not all of them. Some have thick bark, others thin. Some plants are smooth. Others are prickly like cacti. Many animals are fuzzy or hairy. Lizards are leathery. Frogs are damp feeling while toads are dry and bumpy. I am not sure I could have come up with so much variety and detail. But God did.
What does it smell like?
Probably the most dazzling fragrances come from flowers. Did you know that when you pass a rose bush, that lovely aroma is God talking to you? He is drawing you into the beauty of the rose. Remember that flowers are here today and gone tomorrow. Yet God has delicately handcrafted them for our enjoyment and His glory. Don’t forget to thank Him for the gift of smell. It enhances life greatly. What do you like to smell in nature? What flowers do you enjoy?
What does it taste like?
“Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8). While this scripture is using the word “taste” as a metaphor for “try”, when you eat fresh fruits or vegetables from the market, you literally are tasting some of God’s goodness from nature.
If you have a garden and grow fruits or vegetables, you see first hand God’s magnificent design as the seeds sprout, grow, lean towards the sun from east to west each day, and in a specified number of days produce a harvest. While they are growing, some have a fragrance that you can enjoy. Your eyes can feast on (no pun intended) the bright green of broccoli, red of strawberries, or yellow and orange of peppers.
Whenever you are at the market, think about the bounty God provides for us, the variety God blesses us with, and the provision of vitamins and minerals that are in the produce aisle. God is good.
33 ways to find hope, joy, and peace in nature
- Go for a walk outside, especially if it involves grass, trees, water, or flowers.
- Go to a park and lay on a blanket while watching the clouds pass by. Notice the color of the sky and the formations of the clouds
- Notice the variety of colors in the produce aisle at the market.
- Look at plant leaves. How are they the same? How are they different. Look closely. They have veins as we do.
- Look at different bird feathers closely. Above is a photo of a guinea hen feather.
- Go to the garden center or floral department of a store and smell the different kinds of flowers. Notice the shapes of the petals. Notice the different textures.
- As you stand by a tree, imagine the huge root system below. Most trees have a root system the same size or larger than what you see above ground. Thank the Lord for the fact that those roots keep the trees from toppling over on you. The Bible talks about our spiritual roots and how they need to go deep so that our faith does not topple and fall.
- Watch documentaries about nature. I have seen this one more than once. I always come away with such awe and wonder for our amazing God and His design.
- Watch movies about nature. This is one of my favorites and is based on a true story.
- Hang a hummingbird feeder or a butterfly feeder outside your window. Hummingbirds and butterflies require different nectar strengths. The feeders can be hung from the eve of your house with a cup hook obtained from any hardware store, or from a nice ground planted pole. If you live in an apartment and have a deck, these are available.
- Get a bird feeder to hang outside your window.
- Read about nature. I have this one (Listen to the animals) and have always loved it. Here is another book that was published more recently (Unwrapping Wonder: Finding Hope in the Gift of Nature).
- Keep a houseplant and observe it as it grows. Notice what it requires to live and how does that compare to what we need for spiritual life and growth.
- Have a fish bowl (small goldfish or beta fish), or aquarium. Watching fish can be very enjoyable. Have you ever noticed how some doctor offices have fish tanks? It helps people relax as they are waiting to be seen by the doctor.
- Go to the zoo. So many of the animals are very entertaining.
- Visit a botanical garden. There usually is an abundance of flowers in bloom during the spring and summer (northern hemisphere).
- Visit a state or national park.
- Create a Pinterest board with dazzling photos of nature, or follow mine.
- Go to the beach. Observe the birds and the waves.
- Feed ducks at a park.
- Spend the evening at park where you can have a campfire. Roast marshmallows and watch the stars. Enjoy the smell of firewood burning and the fresh air. Enjoy the sound of the fire crackling. Thank God for your sense of smell and hearing. Observe the different colors produced in the flames.
- Start a garden. Most garden centers have plants ready to put in the ground or pots. If you want the adventure of starting from seed, this is a great way to observe God’s work firsthand.
- If you only have a windowsill, try growing fresh herbs.
- Hang photos of nature with scripture overlays in your home. You can get some of these from the Creator’s Classroom at the end of most posts. They can be printed in many different sizes. Christian book stores also have them. And as always you can find them on Amazon.
- There are many books that highlight the majesty of God’s creation through photos. This one is simply gorgeous.
- If you don’t have a window with a view, create one with peel and stick wall art.
- Listen to the sounds of nature with a white noise machine. Close your eyes and imagine being in an environment where those sounds come from.
- Grow a bonsai tree. They are small and can be shaped the way you want. This is similar to when the Bible talks about Jesus shaping us.
- If you like chickens, this book is full of fascinating details about the life of these creatures, including their acceptance of you into their flock or how they mourn the loss of one of their chicken friends. If you like birds in general, learn what it is like to be a bird. This book answers questions such as, “Can birds smell?” “Is this the same cardinal that was at my feeder last year?” “Do robins ‘hear’ worms?” It includes more than 330 illustrations by the author.
- Go camping (tent, RV, or rented cabins). Campfires always make food taste better while the fresh air is invigorating.
- Visit a wildlife refuge. A refuge is a place of safety for the creatures living there. We find refuge in Jesus in a world that is unsafe spiritually and emotionally.
- Go fishing- while you are waiting for the fish, listen for birds and other animals, take in the fresh air, see what trees are in the environment. Think about how Jesus told His disciples that they were to be fishers of men. Even if don’t catch a fish, you can still enjoy your time spent in the great outdoors.
- Visit a safe, public cave. Once inside turn off your flashlight and “feel” the darkness close in. Then light a tiny match or lighter. Notice how the smallest beam of light makes all the difference. Jesus is called the light of the world, and we are told to shine this light to those around us.
Conclusion: find hope, joy, and peace in nature
God must have had a wonderful time creating so many different creatures, plants, objects, and substances. Since we were created in God’s image, is it any wonder that most of us enjoy being creative in one way or another?
There are many ways to connect with the world around us. These ideas are a sampling of what you can do. Best of all, when we find hope, joy, and peace in nature we can also connect with our creator. We truly have a great and amazing God. I hope you will enjoy this song by the newsboys, The Greatness Of Our God.
A gift for you
The following scripture card is a reminder that everything we enjoy in the world around us comes from the hand of God. Simply click on the image to download. NO EMAIL REQUIRED.
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