God of creation
Happy Thursday, friends!
What makes us feel alive, and how can we feel alive more often?
This is our question to think about over the next few weeks! Like I mentioned in the last post, I truly believe God invites us to enjoy life and wants us not to merely exist, but to feel alive!
One of the ways I feel alive is through nature. I feel alive when I pause long enough to look around, and take to heart what God intentionally and delicately placed on this earth. Mountains, sandy beaches, arid deserts, winding rivers, flowers and more. God invites us to embrace and enjoy what he’s created. Aren’t you glad he didn’t give us an ugly planet?
Has anyone been to the Grand Canyon? Last year for my birthday, my really thoughtful husband surprised me with a trip to Arizona. Seeing the Grand Canyon was a bucket list check for me! I had no idea where we were going until we got to the gate at the airport.
Here are a few pictures from our trip!
As we approached the Canyon, I felt my heart start to race. The sheer size was breathtaking, and I didn’t know whether to cry or squeal. (Eeeek!) I felt God’s power and glory radiate through each layer of rock, every tree and every gust of wind that day. I felt so small in the most humbling way.
My favorite verses about creation are Psalm 95:4-5:
“In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.”
I love these verses because they remind me our world is God’s, and he still holds it in his hands. What gives me great hope is knowing he also holds you and me in his hands. Nature has a way of reminding me of this comforting, powerful truth.
As much as I love a vacation getaway, I think we often times feel we have to get so far off the beaten path to find beauty outside, or to feel alive in nature. The Grand Canyon is absolutely grand, but so is Nashville, or the city you live in! If we pause long enough to look, we can start to see the beauty right outside our doorsteps.
Have you ever paused to think about the value in a tree? Not only are the leaves and flowers vibrant during different seasons, but they also produce oxygen for us to breathe. I know, we learned this at a young age, but I rarely pause to think about the value God places in a simple tree. Various sources suggest two mature trees can provide enough oxygen for a family of four for an entire year. Isn’t that amazing? Not only did God create trees for us to look at and use, but he created them as a source to sustain us. He takes care of us through his creation.
If God placed that much value in a tree, can you imagine how much more he values us? He shows us he loves us through every tree, flower, sunset, sunrise, storm and more. His divine reminders of unconditional love are everywhere we look.
One of my favorite small group homework exercises I’ve completed was to sit at home and write about the beauty I saw in front of me. I had to sit with this for a while in silence, and truly let God open my eyes and heart to his goodness.
Here is part of what I wrote:
I have flowers from a friend sitting in front of me. The flowers remind me of community, and ultimately love. The wind is blowing lightly outside my window, which reminds me, if God has control of the wind, he certainly has control of my life. I have a salt and pepper shaker sitting in front of me. The salt reminds me to be the salt of the earth; seasoning other people’s lives to make them better.
I think we can feel alive more often, and find inspiration and purpose when we pause to practice gratitude for the beauty right in front of us. God sends us reminders of his love through every flower, breeze, rainbow and ray of sunshine. For me, practicing gratitude creates a humble, thankful heart, and I hope you’ll find the same is true for you too.
When you’re burned out, ready for a vacation or feel the urge to run from everyday life, I encourage you to open your heart and mind, and pause to look at the beautiful creation you have right in front of you. Look at the trees in your front yard, neighborhood or park and remember how valuable and loved you are. When you feel the wind, remember God has your life under control; we don’t have to worry. We don’t always have the ability to escape to the grand sites of the earth, but we can practice gratitude for what we have in front of us, which is also grand in its own right.
When I take time to soak in God’s creation, I am more grateful for my life because I’m reminded he created me for a purpose too. We are his masterpiece, and when I look at places like the Grand Canyon, I feel really, really loved. I also feel really, really loved when I practice gratitude for what I have right in front of me. We are more prized to him than anything he has created, and when I take time to let that sink in, I feel humbling joy. I feel alive.
What parts of God’s creation are you grateful for, and what makes you feel alive?
Sit in or outside your home and write about the beauty you see. In other words, try to complete the homework assignment I completed.
Practice gratitude for creation this week!