Weekly Devotional: Seeing God in Nature

enjoying God in nature

We know that we can encounter God’s presence in his word, in church or in small group bible study and prayer. But the presence of the Lord can be seen in almost everything around us. Nature is a reflection of God and we can see him through all he has created for us.

God’s Beautiful Creation

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands — Psalms 19:1

God is creator of heaven and earth. Everything we see in nature has been carefully designed to the last detail and brought to life by God. In the beginning, God had the authority to command nature come to life. In the same way we reflect the image of God, his creation in nature reflects his creativity and splendor.

This verse in Psalms reflects how nature seems to honor and worship God just by being there. The beauty we see in nature all came from God and was perfectly and intentionally designed by him and him alone. 

God and Nature: Where To See God

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning — the sixth day.” — Genesis 1:31

Have you ever felt like God was far from you and you had no idea where to go to find him? For a college student, life can be so full of distractions. You are constantly being asked to focus on the next thing: classes and assignments, big exams, dinner with friends, weekend adventures, clubs and sports practices. You may be wondering if there is still a way for you to connect with God when everything around you begs for your attention. 

One of my favorite ways to see God is in nature. His creation is for us to enjoy and is a way for God to show us his good work. I feel so blessed to be surrounded by the beauty of our world. Every little detail is stunning in its own way and serves as a reminder for all that God is capable of. 

Practical Ways To See God in Nature

If you feel you’d like to explore connecting with God through nature, here are some practical ways you can spend time in nature while focusing on the Lord:

  • Go out in your neighborhood or to a local park
  • Walk or drive to somewhere quiet and peaceful to help ground you
  • Take a hike to some place with a view
  • Explore a new place that has lots of diverse wildlife to view
  • Visit a nature reserve or a state park
  • Go to an ocean, lake or river

Experiment with the time of day when you go outside. God created both night and day, with the sun, moon and stars all reflecting his glory.

Spending quiet time in nature might be all you need to begin to feel closer to God. However, there are plenty of intentional activities you can do to focus more on the Lord. Many times in the New Testament, we see Jesus going out into the wilderness to pray, meditate and speak with God. Many of his recorded sermons and interactions with disciples took place outdoors, like the Sermon on the Mount, the miracle of Jesus calming the storm, and even his baptism in the Jordan River. 

Below is a list of things to try while reflecting on God in nature:

  • Pray: This can be a simple, organic time of prayer and reflection as you become inspired by nature, or you can take your prayer time outside to change up your environment. Consider bringing a prayer journal and tracking which times you prayed in nature.
  • Read: Take your Bible or devotional outside with you. Maybe there is a book on spiritual life or theology that you have wanted to read. Being in a quiet place in nature might help you focus more on what God wants to show you through your reading. 
  • Listen to music: If you are someone who loves to worship God through music, try bringing some music with you outside. It could be worship music or other types of music that inspire you and help you slow down enough to connect to your environment.
  • Interact with nature: Get up close and personal with God’s creation. Use as many of your senses as you can. Maybe work with animals or wildlife. Even taking photographs or drawing what you see in nature is a way to interact.

Bible Versus About God and Nature

These verses reflect different connections and themes behind God and nature. Consider spending time examining these verses in prayer, in study time, or going back to read full chapters. Use these verses as encouragement and inspiration for your time in nature with God.

“In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” — Job 12:10

God gives life to every living thing and without him, nothing on this earth could survive. He is our sustainer and is the sustainer for each and every plant and animal that surrounds us. Dwell on this idea and just think about how much we rely on God. We can trust him to provide for us the same way the whole Earth trusts God to sustain it. It puts into perspective how he acts as Lord of all.

“Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.“ — Psalms 96:11-12

God’s creation was made to honor and worship him, including nature itself. This verse shows how God’s creation is good and was made for his kingdom and purpose. Nature also reflects the power and holiness of God. God spoke and creation appeared, in all its intricate detail and variety. Only God has the power to create a perfect creation and create the miracle of life. His creation serves him and rejoices in him, showing how the whole earth and everything in it is under God’s perfect rule. We should let our worship, reliance and admiration of God reflect the way the rest of creation finds joy in our God.

“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” — Genesis 2:15

God created nature for us. It is both a gift and a responsibility. Through our diligence and work taking care of the planet, we are able to continue to enjoy it for years to come and we are showing God that we appreciate his gift to us. Taking time to care for the beautiful place God has given us to live, we can connect with him and his creation on a deeper level.

Good stewardship of the planet can look like a lot of different things: farming, gardening, tending to animals, or nature conservation and restoration. It also can look like taking the time to appreciate and admire nature. Have care for the natural world and invest in learning about it, because learning about nature teaches us about God’s design and his character. 

God’s gifts to us are never-ending. His presence can be seen and felt anywhere. Our planet is filled with creation that reflects God’s character, creativity and his ultimate design. If you have a passion for our planet and want to learn more about God’s design of the natural world, consider a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science or other related degree programs from Grand Canyon University. You will have the opportunity to learn from a humanitarian perspective, engaging in research and study which can help deepen your knowledge and appreciation for God’s creation. 

Approved by the local outreach coordinator of the Office of Spiritual Life on August 7, 2023. 

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.