cft

Finding Faith in Creation Itself

How nature can help you find the creator & appreciate his love.


user

Ian McDermod

2 years ago | 4 min read

Nothing beats a trip to the great outdoors. Whether you’re in the forests, mountains, or deserts, there is so much to take in. There can be sunshine and breaths of fresh air. There can be creatures both big and small scurrying below your feet and above your head. There can be views so breathtaking that you remember those junctures for the rest of your life.

Of all the benefits of getting outside, perhaps one of the most powerful and abundant is the reminder that we are in a place that is bigger than ourselves. A place of creation that we humans didn’t craft, but is a landscape that was so handwrought and finely tuned, it’s impossible to not want to get down on your knees in thanksgiving for the creator we so very seek.

“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 New International Version

What an incredible reminder that scripture gives us. It reminds us that the Lord is responsible for the creation we see before us. The reason we can take in the fresh mountain air or gaze up in the wonder of a sequoia tree is because of the very breath that God breathed in our lungs.

Nature has always been a place of exploration, wonder, and glory. For myself and many others, it has long been a place to encounter creation and grow in faithfulness.

Sitting back for a time to reflect

Nature can be a place to escape. I know that when I have a lot on my mind with all the happenings of the busy world around, time in nature can ease the anxieties and worries of tomorrow.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

I’m someone who loves to be active outside. Hiking, running, kayaking, you name it. These activities bring me joy and fulfillment, but so does another one of favorite nature activities: simply just sitting, reading, and writing in nature.

One of the great joys of the outdoors is the ability to stop and reflect on things.

Sure, I find contentment in my active outdoor pursuits, but merely sitting in nature brings about a calming and pensive demeanor. I like to read and also write when I’m outside. I spend this time observing the world around me, but then also contemplating something larger than me.

Some of my favorite scripture to read outdoors comes from the book of Psalms. To me, the Psalms are like musical notes that define the creation around me.

“Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.”

Psalm 96:11–12 New International Version

I become appreciative of where I am at the moment. I am reminded of the stunning whereabouts around me. Most importantly, I feel and connect to the word of God.

The contemplative naturalist

I’m not the only one who builds upon their faith from moments in nature. Many famous naturalists before me found respite, peace, and faith through their time outdoors.

John Muir image from the public domain

John Muir is one of the most revered naturalists in American history. His wanderings through the wilderness of the Sierra Nevada, Alaska, and many more places have inspired generations and paved the way for the start of the preservationist movement.

Muir was curious, adventurous, and faithful.

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” -John Muir

Muir understood that every person needed a chance to confront the beauty of nature and wilderness. He saw its healing powers and likened the wilderness to God’s greatest cathedral.

Not only was it a quiet and musing cathedral, but it was also a place to connect with others. Through his founding work at the Sierra Club, Muir scheduled hikes with over 100’s of people to get out and relish not only in nature but in the company of one another.

Time spent in wildlands does not simply have to be meditative, but can be an exceptional way to fellowship and minister to the many souls that need the panacea that comes from creation.

God the artist

Stopping to slow down in nature allows you to value the picture you see before you. It can be compared to admiring and cherishing beautiful works of art.

In her devotional Earth Psalms, Francine Rivers describes how admiration of nature is recognition of God as the artist and creator:

“God is an artist, and the earth and the universe are his canvas. From the microscopic complexities of an atom to the immense, expanding universe with nebulae, black holes, and galaxies, God shows His power and majesty, His attention to detail, and His great and unfailing love for us. Jesus said if people did not praise Him, “The stones will cry out” (Luke 19:40, NIV).”

Photo by Tetiana SHYSHKINA on Unsplash

When acknowledging God as the artist, we not only can see his creation, but we can recognize and feel his love for us. The natural world is simply one canvas on which God chooses to freely express his everlasting love for us through Christ Jesus.

Getting out and recognizing that love

It’s one thing to read and write about God in nature. There are many more words that could be said, but my own words can’t replace the divine experience.

The best way to feel that admiration of the creator and better understand his world is to simply go outside and experience it. The experience itself is joyous and extraordinary. It’s something that will draw you closer to the natural world and your faith. There’s no better feeling than that.

“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 New International Version

Upvote


user
Created by

Ian McDermod


people
Post

Upvote

Downvote

Comment

Bookmark

Share


Related Articles