About ten years ago, I led a small group of teenagers on a ministry trip to Switzerland. We were there to work behind the scenes of a youth camp—helping with meals, service preparations and other tasks in order to free the leaders up for more interaction with their students.
Toward the end of the week, one of our hosts offered to take us on an excursion to a recreational area in the mountains. The drive there was absolutely stunning—grassy mountains dotted with colorful flowers where cows and goats were grazing, the air filled with a gentle tinkling of bells around the animals’ necks. I felt like I had been transported into a movie.
When we arrived at our destination, we had to take a cable car up into the mountain. The view was so gorgeous that I even managed to forget my discomfort with heights. But nothing could have prepared me for what awaited at the end of our cable car ride.
We walked through a tunnel, and when we came out on the other side, we were surrounded by the majestic Swiss Alps. Back in the direction we’d come from, the signs of summer were everywhere; here, they gave way to jagged snow caps, plummeting crevices, and deep ice glaciers. In the shadow of these towering peaks, I felt smaller than I’ve ever felt.
For a moment, we all stood there, completely at a loss for any words to respond to the sudden transformation we’d stepped into. And then I felt a familiar weight—a gentle heaviness that has wrapped around me many times in worship. It was as if the Holy Spirit pulled me close, and I felt Him whisper to my heart, “Yet even the mountains melt like wax before Me.”
I thought I might sink to the ground in the overwhelming holiness of the moment. I could almost see His fingers reaching down to carve out the mountain range, the way a child might play and sculpt sandcastles. God was offering me a glimpse of His grandeur, and His heart was bubbling over with delight.
What the Heavens Declare
I love these words from the book of Psalms:
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day, they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. (Psalm 19:1-4, NIV)
Unlike other religions that might worship the creation itself, we understand that all of creation is engaged in continual worship, reflecting glory, splendor and reverence back to the Creator. Even more, as we cannot see Him face to face yet, creation gives us insight into what God is like.
In my visit to the Alps, I came to understand something of the greatness and bigness of God that I had not known before. When I drive under the wide-open Texas sky that seems to go on forever, I catch a glimpse of His eternal nature. As I teach my children about all kinds of animals and creatures, we see His creativity and even His sense of humor.
In addition to God’s character, creation serves as a living illustration of so many spiritual principles. For example, many times in my life, God has used the moon to remind me of His presence even when I cannot see Him. There are nights when the world is illuminated with a glowing, full moon, but far more often, we can only see part of it. Sometimes, all that appears is a tiny sliver, and during the new moon, we cannot see anything at all.
But the moon is always there—it doesn’t fall out of the sky, it doesn’t lose part of itself. In the same way, whether we see clearly how God is working or cannot see Him it all, He is there. And in many dark or confusing seasons of life, when I could not understand or see how God was working things for my good, His Spirit drew my heart toward the skies, and I remembered what it is to walk by faith, not by sight.
Eyes to See
Most of us will notice if we see something beautiful and awe-inspiring, but I would encourage you to take a closer look at what God may be wanting you to see or learn from the world He made.
Especially if you are weary or discouraged, making time to get away from everyday life and into nature can be deeply healing and refreshing. In many ways, creation is one continual, living, breathing love note from God; He wants to speak to you through the work of His hands. Just as an artist leaves a piece of himself in every work he makes, God has left evidence of His heart all around for His children to see and discover.
Nature cannot help but engage in worship. There is no decision involved, like there is for you and me. We get to choose to involve our hearts in the neverending worship that is taking place, night and day, not only in the throne room of heaven, but all around us here on earth.
Will you notice what God wants to reveal to you? Will you allow your heart to respond to the messages He is whispering to you through creation? My prayer is that you would have fresh eyes to see and that your heart would be drawn into deeper worship as you behold all the wonder He has made.