Nature is stunning. From the eloquent sounds of birds chirping and water rushing, to the greenery emerging from the ground, these small idiosyncrasies of creation all point to a Creator.
There’s evidence of God all around us, but in the midst of our busy lives, we often hurry past the natural wonders of this beautiful world.
“The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship (New International Version, Psalm 19:1)”
The Bible often gives accounts of Jesus retreating in nature to sit in God’s presence, pray and connect with His Father in heaven.
“Later that same day Jesus left the house and sat beside the lake (Matthew 13:1).”
“After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray (Matthew 14:23).”
There is no better place to feel the presence of our amazing Creator than the world He created with His two powerful hands. Nature reveals God’s existence, power, sovereignty, intelligent design, and unconditional love for His creation.
When we feel distant or disconnected from God, we can simply open the door and step outside to restore our connection with Him.
Here’s 5 ways to Connect with God Through Nature…
- Read your Bible in the great outdoors. I assure you, there is nothing better than taking your personal study outside to enjoy in nature. I’ve done my Bible study lakeside, poolside, in a cozy cabin and in my own backyard. For me personally, it helps me focus more when I’m outside. I absorb and peace and serenity around me. Reading among the trees makes the words more meaningful due to many of the parables and nature references Jesus makes. I feel like I can close my eyes and visualize exactly what He’s saying, letting every word wash over me. Take the memorable Psalm 32 for example…”He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters. He refreshes my soul.”
- Go hiking and marvel at God’s creation as you explore. Search ‘walking meditation’ on Google. Yes, it’s a thing. When you pause and take a moment to think about how complex nature is, it speaks to how amazing our God is. Little critters created with survival instincts to gather and store up food for the winter. Perennials resting during the winter, soaking up vital nutrients from the ground so they can emerge again in the springtime. Bees aiding in the food production process through pollination, playing a crucial role in the health of ecosystems. Nature is filled with miracles if we only take a few moments to pause and reflect.
- Find a quiet spot in the grass, sit down and meditate. Mediation is great for reducing stress, anxiety, and increasing focus and calm. Something we could all use a little more of! For beginners, I suggest spending time practicing breathwork for about 5-10 minutes. Inhale for a count of four, hold for three seconds, and exhale for a count of four. If you want to try a guided meditation, download the Abide or Sanvello app on your IOS or Android. Abide is a Christian meditation app that I use daily. Sanvello is a great tool to manage your mental health needs, including meditation, habit tracking, guided journeys, and goals.
- Dig your hands in the dirt and plant something. You’re thinking, “I don’t have a green thumb.” Start with a few easy to care for houseplants and learn as you go. I can think of a few: snake plants, ZZ plants, succulents. Create a mini garden of herbs, flowers, or vegetables on your patio by planting in containers. Confession: I killed every single plant I bought when I first started out. Fast forward 5 years, gardening has become one of my favorite hobbies. (You’ve been warned – it’s highly addictive though). When I plant new seeds and watch them sprout for the first time, it’s a bit of a euphoric feeling. I often think about all the Biblical references of sowing seeds, reaping a harvest, and praying in the garden. I definitely feel more connected to God and his creation through gardening. Give it a try! You will not regret it.
- Exercise outside and spend time talking to God. Moving your body through exercise is an act of worship itself. We can thank God for the physical body and health He has provided us with. My favorite time to talk to God is during my warm up and cool down. During the warm up, I thank Him for everything He has blessed me with. I surrender and lay all my burdens down at His feet, which helps me focus and clears my mind before my workout. During cool down, I talk to him about anything that is on my mind. Some of my writing ideas and topics have come from talking to God during or after my workout. He’s also given me a few pep talks that I needed too!
“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).”