One of the things I love to do is spend time in nature. I specifically enjoy hiking the trails in Tennessee State Parks. I have had the privilege of hiking the overnight upper loop and lower loop trails at Fall Creek Falls. This past spring, I hiked the overnight trail at Virgin Falls. I am thankful God has given me the physical ability to enjoy these experiences.
One of the things I love about spending time outdoors in God’s creation is the noises you hear. Hiking in wooded and forested areas allows you to hear something you cannot see. Hearing the wind swirling through the trees is a noise that is unbelievably soothing, enchanting, and energizing.
If you are fortunate enough to hike by a stream of running water, you know that the noise of the stream, no matter the size, is incredibly satisfying. The water trickling between the small and big rocks is calming.
Similarly, the sights you see in nature are indescribably gorgeous. Pictures and videos cannot fully capture the beauty of God’s world. Cameras cannot capture the depth, detail, or majesty of God’s paintings in sunrises, sunsets, and other natural phenomena. I think David captures well the feelings I have when I am in nature. David says in Psalm 8:3-4, “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?”
When I behold the beauties of creation, I cannot help but be in awe of God. David asked, “What is man that you are mindful of him?” We may never get the entire answer to David’s question this side of eternity, but we are confident God has a purpose for us. Even in a vast and amazing universe, God is concerned with us who are like specks of dust. Why?
We are made in the image of God, and He loves us! The most familiar verse in all of Scripture is John 3:16 where we are told: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” The “world” of this verse is not the mountains, rivers, trees, or other beautiful things in this physical world. Instead, it is referring to you and me and all the people in the world.
Even more amazing and more beautiful than what we can hear and see in nature is the wonderful plan of God to save us from our sins through Jesus Christ. The beautiful world we live in is amazing in its grandeur, but I am awed beyond words when I realize all that God did for me through His Son!
Sadly, many who appreciate the physical splendor of our world never stop to consider its Maker. Worse, they never consider the magnificence of the redemption plan God has made available to us. Allow me to encourage you to be impressed by nature, and may this cause you to seek to serve and obey Him who created it all!