Monday, July 6, 2020

Devotionals for the Heart: Creation


Falling in Love with God’s Creation
A devotional by Jessica Brodie

One of the most beautiful things I’ve discovered about life is something I spent decades taking for granted: God’s creation.

It’s not that I was completely oblivious. All of us can appreciate a gorgeous sunset or one of those perfect spring days, when it’s comfortably warm with no humidity and just a gentle breeze, the kind of day that makes you seek out patio dining or take a long walk just for the pleasure of it.

But as a type-A-personality do-er, I had a tendency to get so focused on my tasks that I’d tune out the beauty of life as simply “pretty setting,” of no real importance.

One day reading the Bible, it hit me that not only does God love me, but He also loves this whole planet. He designed everything—every flower petal. Every rock. Every single atom. Nothing was by accident! He intentionally handcrafted every star in the sky for His enjoyment. He loves creation—so why was I taking it for granted, thinking I was somehow “wasting time” when I lost myself marveling at the trees, the oceans, the rivers, or the rainbows?

One of my favorite Bible verses right now is one that eluded me for many years: “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10a NIV). Learning to do that—be still—wasn’t easy for me at first. But I’ve come to understand forcing myself to sit and just be with the Lord is important. I’ve realized many of us are afraid of the quiet and the solitude because, deep down, we know when the noise and the excitement stops, we’ll be all alone. In the quiet, that’s when we are most likely to encounter God and wrestle with our true natures, and sometimes, we fear this.

Still, the quiet always comes. Even when we fight it, there comes a time sooner or later when the noise stops and we are left alone with our Creator. The sooner we can know it, face it, embrace it, and own it, the sooner we can stop going through the motions of living and start truly living.

In the quiet of creation, our souls can simply unite with God.

Look around—the flowers barely sway in the breeze, yet their vibrant-hued faces are turned upward, focused on the Lord. Notice how perfectly crafted every tree is, every blade of grass, every rock, every creature.

I’ve shared before how God recently nudged me to produce a mini book to help people shrug off their worries and center themselves in the Lord. Called A God-Centered Life: 10 Faith-Based Practices When You’re Feeling Anxious, Grumpy, or Stressed, the book is free for anyone who signs up to receive my blog by email.

One of the tips in that book is this one: Spend time outdoors. Soak up the sun! And most importantly, doing while you relax. Be still and know—that God created all this beauty! That His hand and His heart designed every bird chirping outside my screened patio.

Go outside and just bask in creation. Grab a folding chair or sit on a blanket by a garden, take a seat on your front porch step, or cuddle up in your jammies in a sunny patch someplace in your house.

Leave your phone and your book behind. Just go and sit in the silence of the Lord as His masterpiece of nature unfolds all around you.

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind” (Job 12:7-10 NIV).

“In His hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to Him. The sea is His, for He made it, and His hands formed the dry land” (Psalm 95:4-5 NIV).

There’s a rhythm and a unity, a harmony, undergirding it all. Take some time in the quiet to truly see it.

We get so busy in life. We get so focused on our purpose, on our people, on the work we are doing for the Lord, and while all that is good and important, if we’re not also taking the time to rest and bask in God’s creation, we’re missing out on an important way to get to know Him.

To love what He made—whether it’s people or the earth in general—is to love the Lord.

For other tips on how to be rooted in God and live a God-centered life, check out my free eBook, here.

~*~
Author Bio:


Jessica Brodie is an award-winning Christian novelist, journalist, editor, blogger, and writing coach and the recipient of the 2018 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Award for her novel, The Memory Garden.

She is also the editor of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate, the oldest newspaper in Methodism.

Learn more about her fiction and read her faith blog at http://jessicabrodie.com

You can also connect with her on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and more.

14 comments:

  1. I love being in nature and walking in the trails that are throughout our community. Some of the trails are along the river and some are through the cedar woods. I particularly like the trails through the wooded areas and often call these wooded areas as being God’s natural cathedral. The towering cedars, the fresh air, the fragrant smell of the cedar wood, the evidence of the cycle of life and seasons with old growth and new growth, and the quite and stillness all speak to me of God and his love of Creation. It is in these woods that I most often feel the powerful presence and peace of God. HIs love of creating and of managing all he creates is so evident.

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    1. I love that you call it "God's natural cathedral." What a great way to look at it! I agree.

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  2. This is so true! One of the ways I truly connect with God is by being in nature. One of the reasons I prefer to walk outside vs. on the treadmill. I have fond memories of taking my kids to the mountains or on nature walks each week just so they (and I) could enjoy God's creation. We would read a Psalm while there and then bask in all that God made. Great lesson, Jessica!

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    1. That's a great idea--reading a psalm while there and basking in all God made. Thanks, Marcie!

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  3. Oh, God has created such beauty, yet, underneath there is so much complexity. His design is astounding. And the fact that we can "be still" in the midst of His creation is simply amazing. The earth rotates and revolves, yet we can "be still." Wow.

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    1. Yes!! It is the most bizarrely beautiful complexities, isn't it? How wonderful and how blessed we are to get to live this glorious life.

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  4. So true, Jessica. To love what the Lord made includes people AND all of creation. Since I was little, my mother says I was mesmerized with the sky...sunsets, and so on. It's still one of my favorite parts of creation even for this type A girl. :-) But since my husband and I started walks and hikes and visiting state parks and outdoor resorts during Covid more frequently, I truly appreciate so much about all of creation.

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    1. Yes! That's one of the best "silver livings" about the pandemic for me: the way it's made us focus on the blessings right in front of us. They are all free and a gift from God!

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  5. Wow - loved the disconnect you noted when we think of enjoying creation as a waste of time. Yes, indeed, it's a form of worship!

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    1. Yes, amen!!! It is so powerful to be still and just KNOW all of this!

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  6. I love that God made the world so beautiful. Even that He gave us colors to enhance beauty. Daniel tells us that heaven has even more colors than we can imagine. A truth to ponder in wonder. Great post, Jessica! God bless!

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    1. Ah, I cannot even imagine how splendorous heaven will be!! Thank you, Nancy!

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  7. I find so much of my inspiration in nature. My heart sings out to God when I am surrounded by His creation.

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