Have you ever noticed that no matter what stressful or painful circumstances you are going through God remains the same? One way He confirms this is through his creation. Seeing God in nature has pulled me out of depressions, calmed my fears, and encouraged me through my toughest trials.
The mountains stand strong and powerful, the sun rises no matter how dark the night, the waves gently lap the rocky coast, God’s voice is found in creation, we simply need to train our eyes to see Him.
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The Beauty of Seeing God in Nature
It had been a long night. Tears of frustration fell into my mug of hot coffee which I held between my hands, savoring the warmth. The baby had hardly slept, my postpartum depression was at an all-time high, and I felt lonely and afraid.
I walked slowly out of the kitchen and paused listening for the baby. Still asleep! As I entered the dining room, the soft glow of the rising sun hit me through our large east-facing windows. I looked up, my soul thirsty for the warmth, and one of the most beautiful displays of creation met my eyes. The sky was ablaze with color. Not just one color. God is too creative for that. Pinks, purples, oranges, and blues of every shade blended with the pale yellow.
God met me as I marveled at the beauty of creation!
If you are not the outdoors type, I challenge you to give it a try. When you see God through nature, it will truly grow your faith and encourage your heart.
What Does Nature Reveal About God
One of my favorite quotes is by a brilliant scientist named James Prescott Joule. “After the knowledge of, and obedience to, the will of God, the next aim must be to know something of His attributes of wisdom, power, and goodness as evidenced by His handiwork. It is evident that an acquaintance with natural laws means no less than an acquaintanceship with the mind of God therein expressed”
What does nature reveal about God? His character! Connecting with God through nature is more than just admiring the sunrise, it is examining His handiwork and learning about who He is.
God's Beauty in Nature
As James Prescott Joule explains above, we know God because of His creation. Paul confirms this in Romans when he is explaining how man cannot say that he didn’t know the true God.
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Romans 1:20 NIV
Further on in Romans, Paul explains that creation is also under the curse of sin and is eagerly awaiting deliverance.
“ that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” Romans 8:21-22
So, when we take the beauty of nature, the expression of the character of God, we must also take into consideration that it is limited by sin. It is waiting to be released back into the beauty and perfection it was originally created as.
God’s beauty then is seen in the beauty of a perfected nature. Can you imagine?
Isaiah talks about the time when God’s beauty will be revealed to Israel.
- “In that day the Lord Almighty will be a glorious crown, a beautiful wreath for the remnant of his people.” Isaiah 28:5
- “Your eyes will see the king in his beauty and view a land that stretches afar.” Isaiah 33:17
How to Connect with God in Nature
Connecting with God in nature does not mean backpacking through miles of dense woods (though that is an option if that is your thing!) You can just as easily see God through the nature that is in your own backyard. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Go Into Nature to Find God
I live in the country so pretty much anywhere I walk I am surrounded by nature, but even if you live in the city, there are still plenty of opportunities. State parks are not a long drive for most of us. Plan to spend the whole day hiking or pack a picnic and a notebook for journaling or sketching.
My husband grew up spending his summers on Lake Michigan and to this day it is his favorite place to find peace. Are there any large lakes within driving distance? Take a long walk along the coast, throw rocks into the water, and observe the birds. Stay long enough to watch the sunset. Many lakes have cabins you can rent. Finding God’s beauty in nature and connecting with him as you embrace his creation will have you coming back time and again.
The beauty of God's creations is God in nature!
Camping is my favorite summer activity. It gives my whole family time to unplug, slow down, and spend time exploring. For me, it means getting away from the sometimes overwhelming responsibilities and allowing myself to pray, reflect, and journal. It is my favorite way to connect with God through nature.
I have dozens of camping photos on my phone of sunsets, flowers, interesting insects and fungi, and my kids’ happy (and dirty) faces. As I look back at the photos, I remember the prayers I had silently cried as I watched the sun slide below the watery horizon or how that single purple flower growing among rocks was God whispering to me to bloom where He planted me.
Whether you are into tent camping, campers, or renting cabins, take the time to relax, explore God’s creation, and connect with the amazing God who created it.
Bring God's Beautiful Creation to You
Seeing God in nature can be as simple as bringing nature to you. There are several ways to do this!
- Plant a vegetable garden
- Landscape with a variety of flowers and herbs
- Hang bird feeders near your windows
- Plant a prayer garden
- Plant fruit trees or any tree you like
- Hang window boxes and fill them with flowers
- Create a sitting area where you can get away from distractions and focus on God and His creation
- Plant bushes and flowers to attract hummingbirds and butterflies
Planting seeds and watering them day after day, full of hope that a tiny sprout will pop up out of the ground can teach wonderful lessons on not only the intelligence of God but the characteristics of hope and patience.
Studying flowers and herbs, butterflies, and hummingbirds bring a special opportunity to see God through nature. Watching how God provides for the needs of even the tiniest creatures will grow your faith and fill your mind with Bible verses about God’s beautiful creation and how he cares for the sparrow.
The intricate designs of flowers along with their variety of colors, blooming seasons, and sun requirements can teach us that God is far from simple. Watching a honeybee dig down deep into the center of a flower to gather the precious nectar helps us understand how God created His world to work in harmony. Much like we are to be in harmony with Him.
Putting forth the effort to add these small details, will undoubtedly bring you joy as you connect with God through nature.
Bible Verses About God's Beautiful Creation
Scripture is filled with Bible verses about the beauty of God's creation and finding God in nature.
“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” Genesis 1:31
“It was very good.” Yes, it was because our God is good. Remember, His creation reveals His character. We can rely on God’s perfection. Count on it, put our hope in it.
But ask the animals, and they will teach you,
or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;
8 or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,
or let the fish in the sea inform you.
9 Which of all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?
10 In his hand is the life of every creature
and the breath of all mankind.” Job 12:7-10
Job sounds like our scientist, doesn’t he? He understood that we find God through nature. “Teach, tell, inform” these are all words that we use for instruction. God is instructing us to study creation, to learn about Him, and connect with Him through the works of His hands.
In his hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.
5 The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land. Psalm 95:4-5
Seriously, aren’t the Psalms full of beautiful language?! What expression of the greatness of God!
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Psalm 19:1
Psalm 104 is a beautiful psalm about God and His creation. It’s 35 verses so I’m not going to include the whole thing, but here are a few verses about God’s beautiful creation and it being an expression of God himself from this Psalm.
“The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters. He makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wings of the wind. Psalm 104:2-3
I am in love with the imagery here! God stretches out the heavens and rides upon the clouds. Doesn’t it make you want to stare at the sunset and envision the awesomeness of your creator?
“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.” Psalm 104:24-25
Notice the word “wisdom” here. I think it is important to acknowledge that God made the heavens and the earth and it works because of His wisdom. This was not something that happened by chance nor has it evolved into this amazing state. Everything was planned by a wise and knowledgeable God.
“May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works—he who looks at the earth, and it trembles, who touches the mountains, and they smoke.” Psalm 104:31-32
We know that God looked upon the earth and said that it was good. He can rejoice in His work because it is perfect, a reflection of Himself, and a gift to us.
God is the Beauty in Creation!
One last Bible verse about nature and creation and it’s probably one of my favorites because it asks a profound question.
“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” Psalm 8:3-4
He looks at the awesomeness of the night sky and he asks why such an amazing God would have anything to do with him. He is definitely seeing God in nature! If you also ask yourself that question, may you be reminded that you are also God’s handiwork?
So today, when you are out and about, just look around you. Make it a point to see God in nature all around you. Find His beauty in the smallest of things that you see today. A butterfly landing on your car. The birds frolicking in a puddle of water. The sunrise or sunset. The amazing outlines of the clouds.
God is literally showing Himself to you at every turn!