Once, in a college class, we were discussing finding God in nature. I was asked to look outside at a nearby tree, and tell the class what it told me about God. “Um… it’s reaching up to the sky to show us we need God?” Maybe. Or maybe it has outstretched arms to teach us to embrace the whole world? Or perhaps a tree has disorganized branches because God loves wild spiky hair and hairspray is an affront to God?
Point made, professor. We can be inspired by nature, but we can’t “read” it. Without revelation, there is little we can say for certain. But we have the Word of God, and by it we know He is the author of this world, the creator and maker of all things. And that which He has made is not silent.
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.
The sunset is simply what it is: a sunset.
The flowers stay in their place, and they merely live and grow.
And these things bring glory to God just by being.
I can’t help but be a little jealous. These growing things really can’t choose to do otherwise. These strawberries can’t rebel and grow thorns.
But I can, and I am tempted to do it often.
Oh that I could be like the sunset and just shine, just reflected the pure light of God’s holiness and nothing else!
The heavens declare the glory of God. And the new creation in us aches to join that pure song.
And yet even now, in our broken state, we are learning to hear the new song, and we being to join our voices to the praise that is happening all around us. We join with the wonders all around us that bear his fingerprints:
the flowering strawberry plants,
the warmth of a campfire,
and the fat baby cheeks that make our heart burst by simply being fat baby cheeks.
Take a moment to behold the things around you that God made. How has He painted the sky today? What is He growing in your flowerbed? What music is He playing in the air? Notice His works and rejoice in His creative creations. Hear their song of praise and joy as they receive life from Him, each according to its own kind. And consider the same God who has made you, who is even now remaking you in Christ so that your song will be more pure than the birdsong. Let the new creation in you begin to sing her song of praise.
All creation, come praise
the name of the Lord.
Praise his name alone.
The glory of God is greater
than heaven and earth.
For a wonderful example of Christ-centered nature poetry, listen to this excellent podcast: Christ Mighty Savior