6 Ways to Find Spiritual Renewal in Nature

I held the minuscule flower up for my daughter to see. Impossibly, there were even tinier flowers located within the center of the petals. We wondered at the intricate beauty together. “God made these flowers. Isn’t He amazing? He also made you, and you are even more special to Him than these beautiful flowers.” Finding God in nature and learning about who He is through what He has made is an excellent way to grow closer to Him while also renewing our souls.

Scripture is filled with references to nature, which shows us that even God thinks nature is a valuable tool for our spirituality. There are many ways to create outdoor habits and a life surrounded by God’s creation to keep His truths and His power ever in our hearts. Here are a few that work for my family.

Seek God Locally

Our modern lives could easily eclipse creation. If we limit our focus to concrete streets, city lights that obliterate the stars and highways paved over rivers, they can prevent us from seeing what God created to remind us of Him. Even if you live in suburbs, apartments or a city, there are still ways for you to seek and find God in nature.

Did you know you can use online maps to search for farms, ranches, parks, gardens, arboretums, greenways, trailheads, bodies of water, open spaces or even nurseries near you? Find one that looks interesting, then step outside to meet Jesus. Interacting with the natural world is a wonderful way to take a deep breath, refresh your soul and take time to meditate on our Creator.

Take a Road Trip

There is nothing like a road trip to reveal the wonders of God’s creation and refresh your spirit. The sky, the open road and even the wind in your hair can all be incredibly freeing and renewing.

Find a place nearby (State and National Parks are a great start) and make a plan to visit.

Our family has traveled all over the Western United States, experiencing mountains, geysers, deserts, bison, rivers, alpacas, waterfalls, hot springs, and even jumping into glacial lakes. Not only are these trips wonderful family experiences, but they have also connected us to God through His creation.

Our family has witnessed His power in a Geyser, His gentleness in a field of flowers, His sovereignty in the life cycle of animals, His creativity in the variety of flora and fauna, and so much more.

Getting far away into nature can also put life into perspective when you leave the cares of home far behind for a week or two.

Find God at Home, Too

If nature is an excellent teacher, then bringing it indoors can enhance our daily connection with the Lord. Indoor plants, cut flowers, and artwork of beautiful natural scenes can all enhance our connection to the natural world and provide constant reminders of God.

A painting of lilies can remind us to “Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you” (Luke 12:27-28, ESV).

A bird feeder outside the window can help us to recall that “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God” (Luke 12:26, ESV).

Bringing nature indoors is a way to invite the Creator into our homes. Rather than having only human-made items in our rooms, we will encounter God-made items to remind us of His presence.

Look Closely

At times, getting out into nature can be difficult. I know we deal with busy schedules, duties, and even illnesses that can keep us away from regular and intentional outings in nature. But that doesn’t mean we can’t regularly and intentionally seek God in nature.

Sometimes, looking closely at things around us can reveal deeper truths about the Lord. Take a few moments to enjoy a beam of sunlight coming through the window. Breathe in the scent of flowers in the air. “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!” (Psalm 34:8, ESV) when enjoying foods that grow from the earth. Open a window and enjoy the feel of a breeze or listen to morning birdsong.

There are many ways to focus deeply on the natural gifts God has given us. By looking closely, we can take moments out of our busy day to refresh our spirits with Him.

Visit God Regularly

It is important to remember that our God is a sovereign creator who is controlling the universe. Being in nature is the perfect reminder of this. It is hard to look at a vast ocean with all its mysteries or majestic mountains with all its strength and not feel sure of God’s power. It’s hard to be amidst a field of wildflowers and not feel God’s care.

Regular interaction with nature is necessary for us to escape our troubles and keep them in perspective. I find that when I venture out into God’s world, it disconnects me from mine and instead connects me with Him. My troubles get put into their place, which is in His hands.

Study His Creation

If you ever study bees, you’ll be filled with wonder, awe, and trust in God as Creator. Studying the natural sciences is an insightful way to learn about God through tangible scientific facts that He put into motion.

I recommend taking a nature journal with you on an outing into the wild or maybe grabbing a book on Natural History from the library. You can watch an animal documentary with your family and be amazed together.

Many nature-inspired devotionals can be found to grow your faith and connect you to God through the many places and creatures he has made.

Connecting With God

God made his world full of variety, beauty, wonder and adventure, and He did it on purpose so that you can know Him, experience His character tangibly and be refreshed. God’s original intent was for us to experience life in perfect communion with nature and animals in the garden. While the fall has made that perfection impossible, God was gracious enough to allow us to access the immense beauty of His creation. Let’s not take that gift for granted. Instead, let’s enjoy it and let it fill our souls with the truth and goodness of God.

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