Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice! Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise! Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy! Let the trees of the forest sing for joy. - Psalm 96:11-12
Growing up and living in Vancouver, I am surrounded by beautiful nature. My backyard is a forest, with mountains in the distance. Every day on my way to school, I get to see the ocean, and every time I am in awe of its beauty. I am so lucky to experience this wonderful display of God’s creation.
I love spending time outdoors, going for walks or hiking. For so long I think that I took this for granted. I lived my life not paying attention to my surroundings, or looking at the small details of God’s creation. Recently I have been trying to use my time outdoors to grow in my faith. It’s so easy to get caught up in the busyness of life, and to forget to take time and give thanks to God.
When I am outside, I am reminded of the majesty and power that God has. He took the time to make each and every plant and creature, so we should take the time to appreciate and gives thanks to Him. When we do this, we experience God’s amazing gift of rest.
So much of the time I am thinking of my own anxieties and worries, and I’m not really listening to God’s voice. Spending time in nature gives me time to be quiet and to just listen. It’s a great distraction from technology and my worries. I find that when I am outside, I feel so much of God’s peace. Last week I was out in the forest on a run, and I was treated to the most beautiful sunrise. Usually I’m not a huge fan of waking up early, but I told myself to make to most of it and listen to what God might have to say to me. I kept hearing from Revelation 21:5 “I am making all things new.” Just as the sun will rise each morning, God will be there to give me hope and to change my heart.
Taking time to appreciate the beauty of world is so important, and it also can remind us about how God created us the same way. I find it so much easier to understand and accept the beauty of nature, animals, and other people, but I can struggle to see it in myself. In Genesis 1:27 it says, "So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them."
I think that we should take this to heart, and remember that we are so valuable and important to God. I encourage you to find joy in the fact that God has created you uniquely, just like the beauty we see around us.
1. What are some of your passions that you can use to grow your faith?
2. How can you take time to appreciate the small “God moments” throughout your day?
3. Where do you feel God’s peace the most?
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You so much for the beautiful world You have created. I thank You for caring for every living creature so deeply. Help me to take time throughout the day to seek You, and to listen to Your voice. Help me to incorporate my faith into my passions, as well as my everyday mundane activities. Thank You, God, for being a kind and loving Father, and for being with me through every step of my life. Amen.
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