seeing god in nature

Seeing God in Nature

seeing god in nature

“For ever since the creation of the world His invisible attributes—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood through His workmanship…” (Romans 1:20, Amplified Bible)

I think that’s why I love being in the outdoors so much. I don’t even have to go to the mountains or to a wilderness area. I can walk in my own neighborhood and be reminded of God’s character and goodness through what’s around me.

My family and I took a 2-week road trip to Wyoming in June. We camped every night and spent time in some of the most gorgeous and unique country in the US.

Being in places like that always—Always—reminds me of the One who made it. I love seeing God’s nature, character and handiwork in the beauty around us.

Here are 7 of God’s character attributes we can plainly see in His workmanship in nature:

seeing god in a moose
A cow moose in the Bighorn Mountains of northcentral Wyoming—homely, yet majestic!

1. Creativity

We see God’s creativity in the astounding variety in the natural world. How is it possible He could come up with such a vast array of birds… insects… mammals… trees… flowers?

His is the most creative mind in the universe. And as His children “we have the mind of Christ” too (1 Corinthians 2:16, NLT). That means creativity in our work, in our relationships, in solving problems.

seeing god in mountains
Mt. Moran, part of the Teton Range, behind Leigh Lake.

2. Strength

One of the most feared and yet sought-after animals in the Tetons and Yellowstone is the grizzly bear. Massive power. And the Lower Falls in Yellowstone—dumping up to 63,500 gallons of water each second 308 feet down into the Canyon.

The immovability of the mountains. And the yet untapped power of Yellowstone’s supervolcano lying beneath the Park. If unleashed it could pulverize those same mountains in a matter of minutes.

And God spoke them into existence! “His sovereignty rules over all.” (Psalm 103:19, NASV) Even supervolcanoes.

seeing god in glacier lilies
Glacier lillies in the Snowy Range Mountains of southeast Wyoming.

3. Love of Beauty

Whenever I get into the mountains, my attention is always caught by the beauty of the alpine wildflowers. They’re exquisite. And yet it seems God “wasted” their beauty by putting them in places very, very few people ever see!

Why would He do that?

I believe it’s because He loves beauty for beauty’s sake. He put it everywhere—on the earth, in the water, in the sky. And He created us to love and appreciate it, too. Wow!

seeing god in geysers
Grand Prismatic Geyser in Yellowstone.

4. Attention to Detail

Each bird comes with its own colors, shape and sound. Each tree has its own bark and leaf. Each flower has its own petals and seeds. From the tiny microorganisms that color the hot springs of Yellowstone, to the shapes of the mountain ranges—detail is stamped everywhere.

“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God…” (Hebrews 4:13, NLT) We can trust Him with the details of our lives, too.

seeing god in tree roots
Cedar trees growing on solid rock.

5. Tenacity

One of the craziest things to see are trees—big ones—growing out of solid rock on the mountainsides! How in the world do they find the nutrients they need out of the tiny amounts of soil there? And yet their roots find places to cling to, and they grow despite the impossibility of it.

I don’t often think of God being tenacious. But Psalm 139:7 (NLT) says: “I can never escape from Your Spirit! I can never get away from Your presence!” What good news!

6. Orderliness

I love looking up at the stars when we’re out in the wilderness. There are no city lights to dull their brightness. There are millions of them, seemingly spread out randomly across the sky.

But they’re not random. All I need to find is the Big Dipper and I know where north is. Always. No matter where in the country I am or what time of year it is.

seeing god in forest fires
Tree “skeletons” and new growth mark a forest fire burn area in Yellowstone.

7. Redemption

One the most astounding things to see is the aftermath of a forest fire. Fire seems—and is—so destructive. And yet new life comes in the forest within weeks…days, even.

In fact, some varieties of pine trees can only seed when the heat of a fire unseals their cones! One of those is the lodgepole pine, that grows all over the mountains of the West. Another is the Jack pine that grows here in Minnesota.

The ground, also, becomes very fertile with the ash from the fire. New plant life springs up everywhere. We noticed on a canoe trip in the Boundary Waters a few years ago that the wild blueberries grew best in the areas that had been burned by a major fire.

God is an expert at redeeming hardship, disaster, even death. As His children, we can expect and trust Him to redeem any area of our life we give over to Him.

What do YOU see in our wonderful natural world?