This week I’m blogging over at Root & Vine News about the joy God’s given me in recent years just being out in nature with Him. Here’s an excerpt. I hope you can spend some time in nature this summer, too!
Ever so slowly over the past decade God has been opening my eyes and touching my soul in ways I had not expected. For the past 40 years I’ve written books and blogs and spoken throughout the country on topics of parenting, marriage, and faith. These areas have been my primary focus. I still love to speak and write on these themes.
Yet more recently our heavenly Father has been awakening within my heart a deep desire to dwell in nature, to really look at His creation, to observe His beauty, to marvel at the things I learn about His creation from twisted roots, fragile flowers, craggy rocks, singing birds, crawly creatures and unusual quiet. Silence. We live in a noisy world, but we were also created for silence. I think of Jesus slipping away in the night to be alone in the hills enjoying the company of His heavenly Father in quiet. Oh, the sweet fragrance of simply being alone together.
At least once a year we all sing “Joy to the World,” the beautiful Christmas hymn with the familiar refrain, “Let heaven and nature sing.” One winter day on a walk in the woods this hymn came to my mind. I began to think about these words as I looked around a snowy, bare path. Because the birds had flown south there was more silence than in the spring. Focusing on the quiet, I asked God to enable me to hear his voice. There wasn’t a lot to hear but as I concentrated, I heard bare branches squeaking as they rubbed against each other. Wind gusts magnified sounds of creaking and worn-out limbs fell to the ground, bumping against bare rocks with a resounding thud.