by Joani Schultz
“For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God” (Romans 1:20).
I love that verse.
Maybe because intentional time with nature can renew. Refresh. Recalibrate.
This summer, Thom and I got away. Way away. We took an Arctic expedition that eventually landed us in Iceland. Besides being incredibly thankful for this opportunity, I had perspective-bringing time together with God. During time away, God used his magnificent creation to show me a deeper sense of his truths.
Here’s what God’s breathtaking creation taught me.
- God is big and in control.
Glaciers. Words can’t describe their grandeur, beauty, power, ancient-yet-future-affecting nature. (How often do I feel inadequate in articulating God’s awesomeness?)
I couldn’t see these ice masses in motion, although I could see their impressive results. Glacial power and pressure had miraculously moved mountains, carving the landscape over centuries. (How powerful is our God to shape us over time!)
We did, however, get to capture brief moments of activity when a giant chunk of ice would calve, or break off a glacier, and thunder into the ocean. We witnessed this gasp-worthy sight and sound of power. (So sometimes we do get to see an immediate, obvious sign of God’s action in our lives, but most of the time, God is patiently shaping us. That, too, is gasp-worthy.)
My biggest “aha” of God’s hugeness happened when we piled into our Zodiac, a small boat that took us closer.
I thought, “Wow. That glacier is huge.”
Not until we motored closer did I realize, “WOW. That glacier is HUGE!” Suddenly I felt very small. Very, very small.
Sometimes I’m so certain of my “small” view of God. Yet the Lord of all creation wants me to remember his eternal truth: “I’m bigger. Way bigger than you can even imagine! I made the mountains. I can move the mountains. I’m ultimately in control (not you).”
Plus, Rocky, one of my coworkers, reminded me that the closer we get to God the bigger and more wonderful he gets!
- Polar regions are hostile and uninhabitable.
Neither the North nor South Pole gets direct sunlight in the winter, so they’re cold and dark. Temperatures can drop as far as 40 to 76 degrees BELOW zero. Deadly for humans.
So what can polar regions say about us?
People don’t thrive in extremes. We need to be centered. Centered on Jesus.
I like to picture Jesus in the center of my life, stretching his loving arms out on the cross saying, “I want to bring you to me to give you life, abundant life. Don’t hang out there on the deadly edges. Come to me, Joani.”
That’s why I’m simply giddy about the Jesus-Centered Bible. This special Bible helps us discover Jesus from cover to cover. It uses blue letters in the Old Testament highlighting references to Jesus. Suddenly the Bible isn’t a book that feels “polar opposite.” Instead of the Old Testament feeling like God was mean and mad at us contrasted with the New Testament bringing us Jesus’ love, the entire Bible brings us into God’s redemptive, loving gravitational pull of Jesus. It overflows with Jesus-centeredness.
- The natural world gives us insight into the supernatural world.
Try what I did. Pause. Take a few minutes to simply study anything in nature: a leaf, a water droplet, a sunset, a cloud. Ask God, “What do you want to show me about you?”
Then listen. Let God surround you and remind you of his presence.
Don’t underestimate the power of creation to show us God. God loves us, but he doesn’t need us to glorify him. Even when Jesus rode through the hosanna-shouting crowds, he reminded the Pharisees: “If they (the crowds) kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!” (Luke 19:40)
So I shout, “Hooray, Jesus!”
Email me your God discoveries from creation. I’d love to be amazed! Jschultz@group.com.