Nature Sings Your Praises
“God’s glory is on tour in the skies, God-craft on exhibit across the horizon. Madame Day holds classes every morning, Professor Night lectures each evening. Their words aren’t heard, their voices aren’t recorded, but their silence fills the earth: unspoken truth is spoken everywhere. God makes a huge dome for the sun—a superdome! The morning sun’s a new husband leaping from his honeymoon bed, the daybreaking sun an athlete racing to the tape. That’s how God’s Word vaults across the skies from sunrise to sunset, melting ice, scorching deserts, warming hearts to faith.” (Psalm 19:1-6, The Message)
I always thought I was strange for sensing deep meaning in nature. Experiencing an inherent need to reconnect to myself through the kind of solitude only wilderness can bring. Maybe because I grew up going to Boy Scout camp, riding four-wheelers down gravel roads or spending entire weekends floating in the lake - the act of being free was imbedded in me. Once I discovered a love for poetry, I realized maybe I wasn’t the only strange one after all. Nature is poetry, God is poetry and God created nature and poetry for us to grasp his vastness.
January of this year I traveled to Negril, Jamaica. I dug my toes in the sand while the warm Caribbean ocean crashed against my shins causing worship to fill my body. As the sun melted into the horizon, the sky flares shades of tangerine, fuchsia, and finally a specific hue of purple I’m not sure a name exists for yet. The breeze skipping off the ocean is sweet like coconut, refreshing and soul-thirst quenching. The perfect moon rises with an unrivaled incandescence. And then she slips into an ocean blanket, I’ve never seen a moon set until now. God is here and as real as the salty streams trailing down my cheeks. Thoughts of thankfulness and gratitude aren’t grand enough and don’t quite suffice for the God peace radiating off my skin but I tell Him anyway.
I thrive when I allow God to deconstruct the wall I’ve meticulously crafted around my heart. As I submerse myself into His creation, all my needs are suddenly met. I don’t require anything from God except to be here, in this moment, awestruck at all His glory. Grass between my toes, wind zipping through the trees, my childlikeness shines through and I remember what it’s like to dream. The pressures and responsibilities of life dissipate and creativity bubbles to the surface. Inspiration is alive all around me. Every outlandish idea God’s placed inside me becomes attainable.
I encounter God in all different kinds of places, but there is something so sweet about marveling Him through what He’s created for my benefit. I look for ways to feel small, not to be confused with insignificant but small in a sense that I don’t have to be in control because God has every living thing in the palm of his hand. From the daddy longleg that makes me screech to the majestic lion watching over his pride.
Our world is chaotic and harsh, standing in wonder of all God created keeps my heart soft and pliable.
Thank you for a sun that warms my skin after a long winter. Thank you for trees that burst crimson and amber to show one last sign of life in autumn. Thank you for long, hot summer days that remind me life can be as carefree as when I was a child. I pray I never become too jaded to marvel at all the goodness you’ve masterfully crafted. My soul needs to bask in Your wonderment.
The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson.