I’m camping this week so I have spent a lot of time out in nature. Yesterday Alycia and I went on a 3-hour hike through Malibu Creek Canyon. We saw trees, shrubberies, wildlife and running water. For a lot of people nature encounters like those happen on a regular basis. But for those of us who live in urban and suburban settings they are few and far between.
Those of us who don’t have regular contact with the unaltered natural world really are missing out. God’s hand is so clearly reflected in the natural world because no one else can take credit for it.
God’s hand is also reflected through humanity’s creativity but it is sometimes harder to see.
I appreciate the cultural mandate from Genesis where God told humanity to be fruitful and multiply. That fruitfulness not only had to do with population but also culture and technology. God gave humanity the ability to reason and stretch its intellect and he is glorified through our cultural and scientific endeavors.
It is difficult for God to receive all the glory from humanity’s cultural and scientific endeavors, though, because there’s always someone there to take the credit.
Michelangelo can take credit for the Sistine Chapel.
Einstein can take credit for the theory of relativity.
The Egyptians can take credit for the great pyramids.
George Foreman can take credit for knocking out the fat.
For all of the advances humanity has made in science, medicine and culture, there is a person who gave birth to those advances. And unless that person is willing to give credit to God, it’s easy to lose sight of his hand and his glory.
The same can’t be said of the natural world.
When we feel the mist from a refreshing waterfall, God gets all the credit.
When we see deer prancing and grazing at dusk, God gets all the credit.
When we stare up at the night sky and see thousands of stars, God gets all the credit.
When we spend time in the natural world we get to see the direct work of God’s hand. Instead of using a middle man like Michelangelo or George Foreman, God just does all the work himself. And when we see what God can do with his unfathomable creativity we should be moved to worship and praise. Because as beautiful and great as a star-filled sky is, the one who painted the stars in the sky is infinitely greater.
So we should all take whatever opportunities we have to get into nature and see God’s first-hand work. I love seeing how God works in science and culture but it’s also moving to see the work that only his hand can do.
I only wish his hand hadn’t created so many bugs.
How does nature push you to worship and praise God?