God's Nature in Nature

Ever since we began our challenge last Wednesday and I did a quick write up for it, I haven't been able to stop thinking about that passage I shared from Romans.

“But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse. “ 
Romans 1:19-20 (The Message) 

I’ve always loved this particular passage of Scripture because it summarizes so succinctly and so beautifully something that has been so true to me personally: That God is in everything all around us all the time. And if somehow we miss that or choose to ignore that, it’s no one’s fault but our own. We only miss out on Him because we choose to, never because he fails to show Himself to us.

And I think the tendency there might be to think that he included that in Scripture as a clause--as a way to sort of shrug his shoulders and wipe his hands clean of the people who never bought into the whole thing--like some legal statement that clears His conscious, maybe even like an “I told you so” statement.But let’s get it straight. That’s not it at all. That’s not who He is at all. It’s actually so incredibly kind of Him on so many levels. Maybe we even write this all off as “super spiritual” or “sensational” or even “emotional.” Somehow as Christians we have managed to separate God and faith from science and nature. We refuse to let them coexist when that’s precisely what they were meant to do. They were meant to function in this beautiful harmony continuously directing our gaze from one to the other. So then the question of why or why not to take care of it just clears itself right up. Nature as we know it is the most expressive piece of artwork the artist ever created--the piece in which viewers can gain the best sense of Him. Why would we not protect that?

So often I think about all of the precious people who have never heard the name of Jesus--who have never had the opportunity to be exposed to the Gospel and who God is. What about them? “Even them,” He reminds us. “I am all around them and even if no one reaches them in their remote little corner of planet earth, I will surround them and reveal myself to them in the things that they see every single day. I will make myself known and available to all.”

And on all the days that I forget. When I don’t feel like picking up my Bible and the Scriptures won’t quite come to me...even on those days I will see more of Him and know more of Him just by opening my eyes. Because the reality is that He doesn’t want me--or any of us for that matter--to miss Him. He’s not hiding from us or sneaking around or trying to trick us. He’s just not.

I had this striking thought as I was reading through the passage again. Perhaps it’s called “nature” as we know it, because it reveals with such elegance the very nature of the One who created it! I really still haven’t gotten over that thought. It’s named for who He is and all that we can discover about Him as we discover it. Isn’t it funny that so many of us find rest and refreshment from this life with time spent in nature. That is not at all coincidental or ironic. If it’s true that God reveals His heart and His character in nature, than of course it follows that we find rest and refreshment in nature because those are also things we find in Him. I hope you’re following here...

If you follow along with For Glory & Beauty or my Instagram stories, you probably know by now that I’m a little bit obsessed with September. (More on that later.) The point is, that as I was pondering this passage something clicked. In Scripture, different pieces grip different people in different ways and in different seasons and spaces of life. For some it’s the very deep and theological writing in Romans, for others it’s the very personal writing and story telling of John and for others it may be the supernatural miracles packed into all of those prophets. But God is in absolutely all of it revealing himself to anyone and everyone who engages with His Word.

Nature works very much the same way. God is in all of it--every beautiful thing that He created--ready to speak and reveal Himself to the beholder. For some it’s a fresh fallen snow and the way that each of those bazillion snowflakes are unique and individual. For others it’s in the warmth of the sunshine or a hike through a majestic evergreen forest. But whatever the case, He’s there.

For me it’s the edge of the ocean and the golden light of September. Those are the places in nature where I have learned the most about His nature. Where I feel the closest to His heart.

What are they for you? Have you looked around lately? Have you taken a moment to see Him and experience Him and get to know Him outside of church walls and ministry meetings and devotional books--in His original element? Today I’m encouraging you to step back and take a moment to see what He’ll show you and how He’ll speak to you there.

As for me, I’ll just be soaking up all of the September blue skies and golden sunshine.

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