Sunday, July 19, 2015

Beholding God’s Grandeur: Spiritual Formation in the Great Outdoors

Split Rock Light House on Lake Superior

Whenever possible, I go outdoors for my time with God. Whether sitting on our front porch to enjoy the morning sun while I read my devotions, or walking at the nearby nature reserve as I pray, something about getting outside into God’s creation refreshes me and helps me connect in a brand new way with my Creator.

Meeting God in Creation
Walking with God in nature, I see growing things all around me: trees, grass, flowers, weeds—all green and flourishing. That reminds me that the Lord is the source of life. It invites me to continue to develop in my life, not resting on last year’s or last month’s growth, but rather maturing right here and right now in my life.

In nature I see God’s goodness afresh. The Lord has supplied for all I need. Not only my needs, the Almighty provides the whole earth with sun and rain, night and day, springtime and harvest. Our Lord gives food to all living things—plants and animals, great and small. Psalm 145:15 states:

The eyes of all look to you,
    and you give them their food at the proper time.
You open your hand
    and satisfy the desires of every living thing.

Greater View of God
Perhaps more than anything, prayer time in the great outdoors affords me a bigger glimpse of God—his greatness, his power, his splendor and his majesty! Without being aware of it, we put God in a box. In the back of our minds we picture God as one of us—just on a larger scale. Such a view of God is natural for children, but it must be abandoned if we are to come into a mature understanding of our Creator and our relationship with him. Meeting God outside the box of my house helps me view God beyond the mental box where I unwittingly try to contain him.

Last week a friend and former student, Ryan Dellos, and I went backpacking. What a wonderful time of spiritual refreshment! The rivers, the rugged mountain trails, the beauty of Lake Superior—what a way to behold God’s power in the great outdoors! What a way to gain new vision of God’s greatness, majesty and grandeur!

© 2015 Glenn E. Myers

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