9 Ways to Connect with God in Nature
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Summer is my least favorite season in Oklahoma, yes it is beautiful, but the unrelenting heat and humidity make it almost unbearable for me to be outside for an extended period. Yet, when the weather is just right and the area secluded, I love to be outside especially right after it has rained. Ever since childhood, my creativity, and imagination go into overdrive when I am alone in nature. Reading, walking, running, and gardening outside are activities I am incredibly fond of doing.
Recently, I read Colossians 1:16 and it was as though I had read it for the first time, it had so much new meaning to me. The verse reads,
"for through him God created everything
in the heavenly realms and on earth.
He made the things we can see
and the things we can’t see—
such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.
Everything was created through him and for him." ~ Colossians 1:16
All things have been created through Jesus and for Jesus. - CLICK TO TWEET
This world and nature within was created by and is under the authority of Christ, and it exists to give Him glory.
“God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars.” ~ Martin Luther
This is a beautiful quote, isn't it? It conclusively illustrates the Colossians 1:15-16 verses. Jesus is the gospel, and He is written and reflected in nature.
In the book What’s Your God Language? by Dr. Myra Perrine, she describes nine types of spiritual temperaments or ways that we connect with God. One of these ways is through nature. The Naturalist is someone who connects with "God through experiencing Him outdoors" (2007). This is one of my spiritual temperaments, and maybe it is for you too!
So, if you want to reconnect with God during the warmer months, a great way to do so is to be outside in His creation!
The Bible is God's Word to us. So, of course, reading the Word outside in His creation, is a powerful way to connect with Him! If you’d like some additional suggestions, then read on.
Do The Creation Of Nature Bible Study
This five-day study is a great activity for the whole family. The Creation Of Nature:
"Do your kids love animals, exploring the outdoors and asking questions? Go through this family devotional on the creation of nature that includes play ideas, prayer and conversation topics for the whole family!" ~ Focus on the Family Ministries
Read a Book
Whether you are reading a Christian book or a book that is filled with spiritual edification, find a shaded, quiet area and read! Hammocks are perfect for this or a beach lounge chair.
Click here to see the iBelieve Summer Reading List for Christian Women
Visit an Animal Sanctuary
“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
Go on a Hike
I can't be the only person who watched the film Everest and actually wanted to go mountain climbing right? Or at least go on a hike? There is something so spiritual about being surrounded by God's great mighty splendor in the mountains.
"For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands." ~ Isaiah 55:12
"And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit-tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good." ~ Genesis 1:11-12
The Bible has many captivating references to gardens and gardening. In these verses, we learn that it is only the power of God's word that makes the naturally desolate earth fruitful.
There are many parallels between our spiritual growth and the growth of vegetation in a garden.
Gardening and growing our own food can also help us better discern that God alone is our Sustainer. - CLICK TO TWEET
"So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow." ~ 1 Corinthians 3:7
A delightful resource for spiritual encouragement is Sarah Koontz's Free E-Series: 12 Days of Garden Inspiration.
Here is some advice from Anne Shirley, :)
“Why must people kneel down to pray? If I really wanted to pray I’ll tell you what I'd do. I'd go out into a great big field all alone or in the deep, deep woods and I'd look up into the sky—up—up—up—into that lovely blue sky that looks as if there was no end to its blueness. And then I'd just feel a prayer” (Montgomery, 1908).
Do Some Outdoor Recreation with Your Life Group
Life is better together! Instead of meeting in a living room or coffee shop, consider meeting with your Life Group outside. Maybe have a picnic, BBQ, or play a sport or game together. I have even done worhsip yoga. You can play worship music and meditate on God and His glory!
The books of Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon are many times referred to as the Bible's Poetical Books. I agree they are each filled with exquisite prose.
For those who love language and words, consider worshipping God by writing poetry while surrounded by nature. Compose a sonnet in the park, a limerick under the shade of a willow, haiku by the lake. You get the idea.
Maybe God has gifted you with the talent of drawing (like my husband), painting, photography (also my husband), or another form of art, use Him and His creation as your inspiration!
Even if you wouldn't consider yourself an artist, you can still color in a coloring book outside or do some Bible journaling. Here are a few Christian and nature coloring books I enjoy:
Animal Kingdom: Color Me, Draw Me (Millie Marotta Adult Coloring Book Series)
Color the Psalms: An Adult Coloring Book for Your Soul
The Glory of the Messiah: An Adult Coloring Book
Words of Grace: A Coloring Book Devotional
In what ways do you deeply connect to God? Would you consider yourself a naturalist? If you are a naturalist, what are some additional activities you like to do to connect to God in nature?
Yours Truly, LeNae
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Montgomery, L.M. 1908. Anne of Green Gables. New York : Signet Classics.