This is My Father's World
Step out into Nature. Sit in a secluded spot, where you feel completely alone.
Twice in the early chapters of Luke we're told that Jesus, at key junctures in His ministry, ventured out into nature. One time, after an all-night meeting of healing and exorcism in Capernaum, we're told that "at daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place" (Luke 4:42). When crowds finally tracked Him down, His reply reflected new- or renewed - perspective.
Shortly after that, Jesus spent a whole night on a mountainside in prayer. The reason? To discern those He would pour Himself into for the next three years of ministry. Jesus' example is not just of prayer, but of heading out into creation to hear His Father's quiet words.
Spending time in nature gives you a sense of proportion. As you and I walk through our interior worlds, we are giants. Even the shortest among us stretch nearly to the ceiling in most any room we enter, and we dominate our surroundings. The psalmist speaks of this sense of scale in Psalm 8: "O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is all you name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. … When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him?" (Psalm 8:1,3-4) ·
Imagine yourself having hiked here from some distance. It is mid-morning. The thick mist, golden in the morning sun, rising off the steam that runs along the valley has not yet broken. Above you on both sides rise huge, bouldered mountain ridges, their red rock formations stunning in the early morning sunlight.
You have rested now on the trail. In your view, you can see spread out before you an incredible canvas of distant valleys rippling rock formations, multiple mountain ranges, and a breath-taking splash of color and texture and variety. Suddenly your heart bursts forth with praise. You sing these hymns, choruses, and children's songs in worship to the Almighty God:
"Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation; Oh my soul praise Him… I love you, Lord, and I lift my life to you a sacrifice; I stand in awe of what you've done … my God is so big, so strong, and so mighty, there's nothing my God cannot do; the mountains are His, the valleys are His, the stars are His handiwork, too…."
Job, after describing the spread of stars, the fury of spring storms, the crash Of waves along the seashore, whispers these words in awe and wonder: "And these are but the outer fringe of His works." (Job 26:14).
God can use the vastness of creation to remind us of our proper place before Him: "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time." (1 Peter 5:6) ·
It is nothing less than God's hand that drew up from flatlands those wondrous peaks. He did it when He wanted, how He wanted. If He could do that, then surely I can trust Him to orchestrate the events of my life in a meaningful and timely way. Tell God all the areas you need TO PUT YOUR TRUST IN HIM?
(adapted from the article "This is My Father’s World" by David W. Henderson)
"Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him" - Psalms 37:7