My family recently took a road trip on our vacation. Since flying these days is a little sketchy, we decided to drive to our final destination: Colorado.
Now, I have really grown to love nature and being outside (not something I liked when I was younger). I find it easy to notice the beauty around me. But on this road trip, I was noticed a lot, even in surprising places.
Western Kansas, usually just known for I-70, had some surprises. We visited the Monument Rocks in Oakley. We literally drove through pastures on gravel roads to get to them, but we were amazed at the giant chalk rocks. My kids saw the mountains for the first time, and we spent a lot of time climbing the giant red rocks of Garden of the Gods. On the way home through Western Nebraska (also not known for much), we visited the giant rocks of Scott’s Bluff.
In just a matter of 5 states, we saw mountains, chalk rocks, limestone bluffs, sand hills, red rocks and of course, some of the 10,000 lakes of Minnesota!
Our world is so beautiful, and on this trip, I was amazed at the variety and creativity of our God. These areas were all so different. God’s mind is definitely infinite!
At one point on our road trip when we were driving through Western Kansas, my husband said, “Wow. This really makes me think of that verse. The one about God owning the cattle on a thousand hills.”
He was right. In that part of Kansas, it is totally prairie. Nothing grows super well but grass. And it is quite hilly. It is definitely the definition of Great Plains.
God said, “For all the animals of the forest are mine, and I own the cattle on a thousand hills” (Psalm 50:10, NLT). God created all the animals in all of the different habitats and environments, and they are all his.
So why? Why did God choose to make the earth with its many different landscapes? Wouldn’t it have just been easier to make the entire earth flat and good for growing food?
God made everything to reflect his glory. The mountains, the trees, the flowers, the animals and people were all made to praise their creator.
Psalm 19:1 says, “The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship.” And Psalm 95:4-5 states, “He holds in his hands the depths of the earth and the mightiest mountains. The sea belongs to him, for he made it. His hands formed the dry land, too.”
God reveals his glory in his creation, both in the things and people he made. This is why there is so much variety and beauty in the world. God wants us to know him. And as I just recently learned in a Beth Moore Bible study, “His glory is how he shows us who he is”(1).
He wants us to know him. And even if we didn’t have church or the Bible, creation would be enough to help us know God. Romans 1:20 tells us, “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.”
Yes, all creation was made by him and for him, so that we could know him. Have you ever felt closer to God while you were some place beautiful? Like up on a mountain or floating in the middle of a lake? That was God’s design. Nature proclaims God, and when we enjoy nature, we enjoy God.
You don’t have to go on vacation to experience God in his glory. “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him” (Psalm 24:1). He created it all, so he is in it all.
How do we connect with him while we enjoy nature? Through thanksgiving and worship. We see God’s glory, and we give it back to him. This is the point of creation, to bring us deeper in relationship with God by helping us know him more and more.
I have a challenge for you: Can you look at something in your every day life, and see God’s hand in creating it? Can you praise him for it?
Notes: 1 – Living Free by Beth Moore. Lifeway, 2001.