“How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number – living things both large and small.” Psalms 104: 24 – 25 NIV
We are surrounded by the natural evidence of God the creator. God is in the glorious, colorful sunrise; He made the sun and the sky. God is in the mountains and the oceans; He made the land and the seas. God is in an eagle as it soars; He made all the birds of the air. God is in a puppy as it plays and a lion as it roars; He made all the creatures of the earth. God is in the beautiful faces of our children; He made man in His image. God is everywhere!
I have always loved being outdoors. As a child, I was always outside riding my bike, climbing our huge willow tree, digging in the dirt, or just running around in the yard playing. When Mark and I started dating we used to love to go Presque Isle Park on Lake Erie and drive to one of the beaches with the best view of the lake and talk about everything. (Also a cheap date!) We have continued to enjoy outdoor activities throughout our lives. As evidenced by where we choose to live now!
And when kids came along we shared our love of the outdoors with them. We hiked Hanging Rock State Park and Grandfather Mountain and marveled at the spacious views of God’s work. We canoed on the Dan River and relaxed at the peacefulness and serenity of God on the floating journey. We rafted on the Tuskegee, the Nantahala and the French Broad Rivers in the mountains and were “swept away” at the power of God in the rushing water. Sarah enthusiastically wanted to try rock climbing and we all tried it. I have to say that I was not as fond of it as the rest of the family, but I did feel close to God as I hung on the side of that rock face and asked Him to please keep me and my family safe! And He did!
Being in God’s creation is a special way to connect with God. We may all enjoy different places. Some of us love the beach and the sound of the waves. For others the mountains are “our” place. For some it may even be our own backyard. But wherever our special place may be we can experience joy, awe, wonder, thankfulness and peace. I always feel close to God when I am close to the world He created. One of our preachers used to call the great outdoors the “big church”! And that is just what it feels like when we can experience God in it!
This week try to spend some time with your family away from modern worries and concerns and step out into God’s “big church” and connect with the creator and just enjoy!
I thank God for each of you! And I thank you for joining me today in the great outdoors!