Have you ever stood at the edge of the ocean? Felt the tide lap at your feet? Heard the roar of the water as the waves crash? Maybe you’ve seen the sun slip lower and lower on the horizon, turning from gold to pink to fiery red, fading into purple, and finally the dark blue of night, unable to distinguish water from sky. When I stand and stare at that giant expanse of water, it reminds me that God is constant and faithful. Wave after wave—they don’t stop. The tides roll. The sun rises and sets day after day, constant and true; all of them mirroring an aspect of the character of their Creator.
I don’t know many who aren’t impacted by the greatness of the ocean; who don’t feel small next to the pounding surf. I don’t think this is an accident. Romans 12:20 tells us that God made creation to shout His glory, that all mankind would see and believe in the Creator—ultimately expressing glory to God, reveling in the beauty of what He made, understanding that we, ourselves, have nothing to do with the beauty we see. (Psalm 8:1, 3-4)
When I think of what nature has taught me about God, my first thought is “what hasn’t nature taught me about God?!” For me, nature enhances my faith, setting on display God’s character, His creativity, His glory. When I am beholding the works of God’s hands, my heart is buoyed, my soul stills, and the eyes of my heart are turned up to behold a God of majesty and greatness. When I am in nature, I see glimpses of God that I might not notice elsewhere. There is something about feeling small that puts into perspective the greatness and awesomeness of the God we serve. The verses from Psalm 19 reveal to me that creation’s purpose was for just that! Creation helps us to know the Creator.
“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are their words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.”
While God is in complete control of the vast oceans, the tides, the rising and the setting of the sun, mankind holds no such control. The thought of being out of control might send you into a panic; but might I present another scenario? The God of creation, the God of nature, who brought order to chaos holds this all in the palm of His hands. He holds nature—and He holds me and you. The same big God that draws my attention when I stand at the edge of the ocean and makes me feel small with His greatness, is also the intimate, personal God who knows every thought and forms every cell in my body.
My human nature is weak, simple, and fallen. I am right to feel small when confronted by the enormity of God. Any other response would be quite presumptuous, offensive, an affront to the God Most High. To see myself, and Him, rightly, I must be able to acknowledge my weakness and see Him as holding all control, all power, and all worthiness. Despite my smallness, He loves me. He reaches down from His throne and pulls me from my worthlessness to the glory of His name.
Even though mankind’s meagerness can’t compare to the glory of heaven, God has always desired our hearts. Since the fall of man, God has promised a Savior. Redemption would come in the form of His only Son arriving as a baby, living a perfect, sinless life, and dying a criminal’s death on the cross. The story didn’t end there but would culminate with Him raising from the dead after three days in a tomb—forever defeating sin and death, and securing a heavenly eternity for all who would believe. Even though His creation had nothing of worth to offer the God of the Universe, He drew near and sacrificed Himself for a relationship.
You see, nature sings a song of redemption. Nature draws me in, shows me God’s greatness and exposes my great need. Nature proves to me the existence of a holy, perfect God, and solidifies the knowledge that I can do nothing to save myself—I am at His mercy. The amazing thing is this: it’s the best possible place to be. When I am at the mercy of God, I’m at the end of myself. I can rely only on what He has already done and His character. Since His character is proven and infallible, I can trust it. His character tells me that even though I’m unworthy, I am loved and cared for by the God of the universe, bought and made worthy at the costly expense of the blood of His Son, and welcomed freely into relationship with Him.
Laci Steed is a stay at home, homeschooling mom of two boys. She is passionate about motherhood, truth, and creating community around God’s Word. She serves in women’s ministry at her church and recently wrote her first booka Christmas devotional called Emmanuel: 25 Days of Anticipating Jesus. Laci enjoys doing house projects, reading, and finding ways to be creative in the chaos that is the little years of parenthood.