Embracing God’s Creation at Maranatha: Exploring Nature and Reflecting on His Glory
by Patrick Lynn
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” – Psalm 19:1 (NIV)
Nestled amidst acres of cedar forests, Maranatha Bible Camp offers a truly unique experience for campers seeking to connect with God’s creation. From the deep and tranquil waters of Lake Maranatha to the rugged beauty of the cedar trees, there are endless opportunities to explore the natural world and reflect on the majesty of God.
“The ultimate aim of the universe is to display the glory of God. And therefore the ultimate aim of nature, in all its interwoven relationships and interdependent organisms, is to display the glory of God. And therefore, the ultimate aim of our enjoyment of nature is that our hearts might be lifted up in admiration and gratitude for the God who made it.” – John Piper
Feeling disconnected from God is a common experience, especially when we are busy or tired, or when we lack motivation to read the Bible, pray, and connect with other Christians. These factors can combine to drain our spirits. However, spending time alone in nature can be a restorative experience for many reasons.
One of the ways we can embrace God’s creation is through outdoor activities. Going for a hike or a walk in the woods, swimming in the lake, or simply sitting outside and soaking in the beauty around us can all be ways of connecting with God’s creation at camp. As we do, we can take time to reflect on the spiritual significance of what we’re experiencing. We can pray and meditate on God’s goodness and faithfulness, and ask Him to speak to us through the natural world.
Exploring nature can offer us a deeper understanding of God’s character and power. When we take time to appreciate the intricacies of a flower or the vastness of the open sky, we can’t help but feel humbled by the enormity of God’s creation. It reminds us that we are a small piece of a much greater whole, and that God’s power and wisdom far exceed our own.
Throughout the Bible, we see examples of God’s love for creation. In Genesis 1:31, after creating the world and everything in it, God saw that it was “very good.” In Psalm 19:1-4, the psalmist writes, “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.” Jesus used nature to teach his disciples, using examples such as the lilies of the field and the birds of the air to illustrate the importance of trusting in God’s provision (Matthew 6:25-34).
Embracing God’s creation through nature helps to transform us and renew us through experiences that lead to personal growth and spiritual development. By taking time to reflect on the beauty and majesty of God’s creation, we can deepen our understanding of His character and power and find renewed inspiration in our faith. Additionally, in taking care of nature, we can grow in our appreciation for the gifts God has given us and demonstrate our gratitude for His provision. Experiencing God’s creation offers us a unique opportunity for growth, both as individuals and as followers of Christ.