God's Presence in Nature?

God's Presence in Nature?

A view from the overlook at  bull run mountains conservancy, VA

A view from the overlook at  bull run mountains conservancy, VA

My Obligatory Spiel on Nature

Hi. I’m Kristal Miller.

After years of being asked about my radiant glow and happiness I am thrilled to share my secret with you.

It’s called nature.

If used frequently, nature has been shown to produce amazing results such as:

  • Increased levels of vitamin D
  • Improved focus and concentration
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Decreased stress levels
  • Decreased symptoms of depression
  • And much more!

Nature is meant to be enjoyed on a daily basis and works best when enjoyed with others.

“But what if I don’t need nature?” you say?

Believe me, you do!

Side effects of nature may include but are not limited to:

  • Breathing fresh air
  •  Interaction with other human beings
  • Walking on ground that’s not made of concrete
  • Being disconnected from electronics

Nature, it’s not just an Instagram pic.

In All Seriousness, I Love The Outdoors.

Being that it's currently the middle of winter here in Virginia and the beginning of a strenuous semester in college, I do not get to spend as much time outside as I'd like (props to those who continue to spend time outside in winter!). The outdoors has always been a sort of "home away from home" for me. My parents were firm believers of children spending most of the day outside and not coming home until dinner was ready. The door would remain locked until we were allowed back in. It sounds like terrible parenting but I turned out okay right?

So my love for the outdoors began at an early age. In my recent years I have rediscovered my passion for spending time in nature. I go on walks with my dog at local parks, I went on several "nature trips" for an ecology class that really spurred me towards my decision to change my degree to conservation and ecology, I love to go camping and hiking, I enjoy my drive to and from school because I get to see the sun rise and sun set, and I was introduced to an awesome outdoor hobby called geocaching that gets me outside and into nature, exploring places I wouldn't have found otherwise.

Listen to our conversation on God and nature:

So Where Is God In All Of This?

Can God's existence be found in nature? Maybe.

There are those that think that God's existence can only be found through his word, but I disagree. I read his word, I occasionally pray, I attend church, and I surround myself by people of God. God's presence is most prevalent to me outside of the bible and a church building.

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. …There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.
— Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

When I'm driving to and from school every day I see the sun set and I see the sun rise. It's an incredible sight to witness. It's absolutely beautiful and I can't help but wonder how it came to be. The way everything works together is so complex that sometimes I think it has to have some sort of intelligent design behind it. From the rising and setting of the sun, gravity keeping us grounded, the way everything on earth seems to just work together and coexist. It all just makes me wonder. 

I cannot emphasize enough how important nature is. If nature is Gods creation and we are to be stewards of earth we need to be mindful of how we impact it. Get out there and see for yourselves.

As a church, there are plenty of ways to enjoy nature and help keep the Earth as it should be:

Lake Brittle, VA

Lake Brittle, VA

  • Start a recycling program
  • Pick up trash along your church's street and/or adopt a road and maintain trash pick-up
  • Organize a hiking/fishing trip for a day
  • Have a Sunday service in a local park on a nice day
  • Organize a group to grow and maintain a vegetable garden
  • Organize a night for star gazing/bonfire
  • Plant trees
  • Replace lighting with energy efficient lightbulbs
Nature is a window opening into heaven, a mirror reflecting the Creator.
— John Muir

While I don't believe God interacts with my personal life, I do think there is a possibility that God could have created the world and took a step back. I am by no means an expert on nature and how nature and God go together, so this blog is just a few of my thoughts and opinions on something I am fascinated with.

Below is Psalm 104. I realize it is a long piece of scripture but the whole thing is needed to really capture the meaning of all of God's creation. Treat the earth as if it were your own because God owns it.

1 Praise the Lord, my soul. Lord my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendor and majesty.
2 The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent
3 and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters. He makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wings of the wind.
4 He makes winds his messengers, flames of fire his servants.
5 He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.
6 You covered it with the watery depths as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains.
7 But at your rebuke the waters fled, at the sound of your thunder they took to flight;
8 they flowed over the mountains, they went down into the valleys, to the place you assigned for them.
9 You set a boundary they cannot cross; never again will they cover the earth.
10 He makes springs pour water into the ravines; it flows between the mountains.
11 They give water to all the beasts of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12 The birds of the sky nest by the waters; they sing among the branches.
13 He waters the mountains from his upper chambers; the land is satisfied by the fruit of his work.
14 He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for people to cultivate—bringing forth food from the earth:
15 wine that gladdens human hearts, oil to make their faces shine, and bread that sustains their hearts.
16 The trees of the Lord are well watered, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
17 There the birds make their nests; the stork has its home in the junipers.
18 The high mountains belong to the wild goats; the crags are a refuge for the hyrax.
19 He made the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down.
20 You bring darkness, it becomes night, and all the beasts of the forest prowl.
21 The lions roar for their prey and seek their food from God.
22 The sun rises, and they steal away; they return and lie down in their dens.
23 Then people go out to their work, to their labor until evening.
24 How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.
25 There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number—living things both large and small.
26 There the ships go to and fro, and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.
27 All creatures look to you to give them their food at the proper time.
28 When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things.
29 When you hide your face, they are terrified; when you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust.
30 When you send your Spirit, they are created,
and you renew the face of the ground.
31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works—
32 he who looks at the earth, and it trembles, who touches the mountains, and they smoke.
33 I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the Lord.
35 But may sinners vanish from the earth and the wicked be no more. Praise the Lord, my soul. Praise the Lord.
— Psalm 104

About the Author | Kristal Miller
An unbeliever exploring faith and doubt with friends.

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#EmptyChat - Worship is a Response

#EmptyChat - Worship is a Response

Can you find God in nature?

Can you find God in nature?