God’s beauty is everywhere. Well … almost everywhere. Mankind often distorts or destroys the beauty of nature. But get away from the landfills, asphalt, skyscrapers, and utility lines, and nature can be breathtaking. So many colors, sounds, fragrances, designs, animation, and textures. Every creature, snowflake, and flower is unique to itself. Every human’s DNA has some variation from all others. Our amazing world is the perfect place for connecting with God through nature! Come along. Let’s take a look.
How do we see God in nature?
God often speaks to us through nature when we don’t have a Bible in our hands. Consider just a few of the Scripture verses about connecting with God through nature.
- The heavens declare the glory of the Lord (Psalm 19:1-6)
- Ask nature- the animals, the birds, the earth, the fish in the sea, all of creation will confirm that God made all of this! (Job 12:7-10)
- Through Him, everything was made, and He holds everything together (Colossians 1:17, Hebrews 1:1-4)
- Since the creation of the world, God’s invisible attributes have been seen through that which He created (Romans 1:20)
This connection to us began back in the garden of Eden. God gave us our five senses in order that we could appreciate and enjoy the world around us.
“God placed Adam and Eve in a garden, full of trees that were both good for food and beautiful to look at, and instructed them to care for it. That He created the animals ‘and brought them to the man’ shows God intended there to be a connection between us and the animals. Anyone who’s had a pet knows about that first hand. Our physical, emotional, and spiritual responses to the natural world have been wired into us by a loving God.” (from activeoutdoorwomen.com)
Nature show us God’s compassion and care
As we look around, we can see animals and birds protecting, caring for, and nurturing their young who are helpless if left alone. God does the same for us.
From Matthew 6, “Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, but your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? … Look at the lilies of the field. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you.” (NLT)
And from Psalm 145- “The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.” (NIV)
Nature shows us God’s intelligence
The earth is held in orbit by God’s intelligent design. Likewise, the intricacies of the human body, originating in our DNA are a fragile balancing act, held together in perfect harmony by our Creator.
From Psalm 139- “For you (Lord) created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (NIV)
Nature shows us God’s Power and Faithfulness
Waves crashing, lightning flashing, winds blowing, and volcanos erupting all demonstrate God’s power. Yet His faithfulness prevents these natural elements from harming us most of the time.
From Isaiah 40, “Lift up our eyes and look to the heavens; Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.” (NIV)
Nature shows us God’s Creativity
Just in the avian world alone, there are so many feather colors, patterns, and designs. What an artist’s dream to have endless mediums available for creative expression. And to think that we are created in God’s image, with the ability to express ourselves in so many ways.
From Psalm 104- “How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number–living things both large and small.” (NIV- this entire chapter is about almost all aspects of nature and is very inspiring)
These examples only scratch the surface. Connecting with God through nature is a huge blessing, as well as an education in His many attributes.
What did Jesus say about nature?
Many of the teachings of Jesus were centered around some aspect of nature. His parables used creation to illustrate spiritual truths. A few examples are:
- Lost sheep
- The vine and the branches
- Houses built on sand and rock
- Birds of the air
- Flowers of the field
- Seeds and planting
- Living water.
It was in the outdoors, not in temples, that Jesus did most of His teaching and spent a great deal of His time. We read about Him being near lakes, seas, on mountains, in the countryside, and in the wilderness. (Matthew 12, Mark 1, Matthew 5-7, 14, Mark 1, Luke 5)
Jesus also utilized the great outdoors as a place for connecting with God the Father. He often withdrew to the hills or gardens to pray. The value of this practice is evident today as some people build small “prayer gardens” in their backyards. These quiet places are conducive to conversations with God. Others go on solo backpacking trips in the mountains for the same purpose. Nature draws us into God’s metaphorical arms and reminds us that we are loved and cared for.
Jesus’ life here on earth began in a stable surrounded by animals. Growing up He was a carpenter alongside His step-father, Joseph. He may have helped his dad find just the right trees for whatever project they were working on. It was on a tree made into a cross on which He was murdered. From His birth to His death, Jesus was closely associated with nature.
Biblical lessons from nature
If we take the time to observe, contemplate, and listen to God, we can learn about Him from our surroundings. He will bring to mind scriptures that we have read in the past to further help us understand His principles.
Every good teacher knows that students learn in different ways. God is the master teacher. Through nature, he meets all those needs: visual, auditory, and tactile. He adds further learning dimensions through fragrance and taste. For instance:
- When I have vegetable seeds sprouting, I have observed the way the leaves follow and bend toward the light of the sun as it traverses the sky from east to west. As a new creation in Christ, God has shown me that I too need to face and follow the Son (Son of God) and His teachings.
- My chickens do some crazy things that they wouldn’t do if they could see the big picture. God helped me see that I often overreact because I can’t see the big picture, but God does. I can trust Him.
- When I observe tall trees, I know that their roots run deep and that is what keeps them standing tall in wind storms. Likewise, when my roots run deep into God’s word, I too can withstand the “storms of life.”
Where might you begin finding Biblical lessons from nature? If you have pets, observe them. Do you have houseplants? Observe them. Even young children sometimes unwittingly teach us about God. Ask Him to show you. He loves to teach eager students!
Connecting with God through nature
If you have never considered creation as a way to connect with God, I hope that I have planted some ideas for you to ponder. It doesn’t require an expensive vacation to the mountains, or a camping trip, although these activities certainly can help. Something as simple as getting outside for a walk and breathing fresh air helps clear the mind and helps us focus on God.
Don’t miss out on all that nature has to offer. It is a treasure chest full of lessons to discover.
A Gift for you as you connect with God
As a reminder that nature can deepen your relationship with God, I would like to give you this Scripture card and a coloring page. They are free to download – no email required.
In what ways are you already connecting with God through nature? Tell us about it in the comments.
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