I paced my backyard, waiting to take a phone call outside so as not to interrupt my daughter’s nap. I could feel precious minutes wasting away while I waited.
I plopped in the grass, sighing while looking out onto the horizon. So much to do and so little time.
What if this is a gift?
The thought caught me off guard.
What? Being stuck out here with nothing to do while I waited on someone who didn’t have the decency to call on schedule?
Who says you’re stuck? Look up.
I tipped my head up and stared. Thousands of leaves swayed in the breeze, a display of elegance and beauty.
Easing into the grass, I watched the tree limbs dance, transfixed by the delicate movement just above me. Birds twittered their songs as dragonflies flitted about. Puffy clouds sailed through the blue sky above, and the sun shone down with soft light.
“They’re all worshipping You,” I whispered.
Yes, they are, came the reply.
And then I remembered this verse, hidden in the old book of Isaiah, promising a time when God’s people will seek Him and rejoice in Him, as will all creation:
For you will go out with joy and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. (Isaiah 55:12)
I could hear the clapping now, the soft branches swaying as they praised their Creator.
I sat transfixed, totally immersed in the symphony of praise happening in my own backyard. These trees and birds and everything else was created to worship God, as was I.
My heart joined nature’s song all around me, singing out loud right there under the trees. What had been an annoying delay became the highlight of my day, a breath of fresh air for this soul stuck in the stuffy indoors.
And then I realized that this worship concert worship happens every day just outside my window, but I’m too caught up in my little world indoors to notice.
Making Time to Be Still
I usually spend so much time focused on what’s right in front of me that I forget there’s a whole world above and around me, visible only when I take time to be still and observe. But that impromptu nature praise concert made me long for more.
I’m not saying we should ignore our responsibilities to watch the clouds. Of course we need to be faithful in our calling — whether that’s being a good worker or a watchful mom or a loving wife — and I’m a big fan of using our time wisely, every last minute of it.
But sometimes, the best use of our time is to put down our phones and our to-do lists and join creation in its worship of our God. God Himself invites us:
Be still, and know that I am God. […] I will be exalted in the earth. (Psalm 46:11)
God is exalted in creation all around us. We need only to make time and join in. We’ll be glad we did.
Worshipping God in Nature
Don’t know how to worship God outside? Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Get outside on your lunch break and look at the sky. Don’t instagram it. Just enjoy it for its beauty and soak in how big God is.
- Take the kids outside and lay on the grass. Ask them what they see, what they hear, what they smell. Ask them who created all those things and how does nature praise God?
- Read Isaiah 55:12, Psalm 19:1, Nahum 1:3 or Romans 8:19-21 while sitting outside. Reflect on these questions: In what ways does nature reveal God’s glory? If clouds are “the dust of God’s feet” what has He seen in your neighborhood today? What does it mean that creation groans with the weight of sin? How do you picture the created world anxiously longing for Jesus’ return?
- Sing a few hymns of praise while walking through a park. Some of my favorite are “How Great Though Art,” “All Creatures of Our God and King,” and “For the Beauty of the Earth.”
- Worship God while watching a sunrise or sunset; delight in His artistic expression and praise Him with each changing color.
Even if you’re more of an indoor person like me, worshipping God in nature will help you connect with Him in a way that no amount of reading or studying alone will do. But if you’re looking for more creative ways to worship God, this list of 120 ways to connect with God might help.
Right now, stop and listen: What’s creation singing just outside your window? Go and join in their song.
As for me, you’ll find me outside today, gazing at the blue sky above. It’s my new favorite place to be.
Welcome to Ungrind!
Do you want to be inspired, motivated, and equipped to live the everyday story of your life well?
If so, you’re in the right place. Whether you need encouragement in your relationships or in your faith, I hope you’ll find the transparent voices of mentors and friends here at Ungrind.
So, grab a cup of coffee and keep reading. We're so glad you're here!
Ashleigh Slater, Founder & Managing Editor
Get Our Free Ebook!
What Not to Say to Someone Grieving a Miscarriage
Here are a few things not to say to someone grieving a miscarriage.
To Those Who Want To Be Truly Happy: Stop Chasing Happiness
Chasing happiness isn't all it's cracked up to be. Here are a few reasons why.
How the Psalms Speak to Our Emotions
The Psalms is a book that's rich with the reality of what life's like in this fallen world. Here are...
3 Ways to Navigate Personality Differences
Sometimes personality differences can wear on us. Here are three ways we can navigate them in a loving manner.
Surprised By ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’
If you haven't seen this film, God may speak to your heart through it in ways you weren't expecting.
The Wedding Ring
Are you struggling in your marriage? Here's how a wedding ring helped one wife fight for her marriage.
5 Ways to Live an Out-of-Control Life
Here are 5 ways to let go of control and trust your present and your future to God.
What Women Are Saying
-- Suzanne Hadley Gosselin, author of Expectant Parents: Preparing Together for the Journey of Parenthood
"Real life is not always pleasant. Every marriage experiences disappointments, misunderstandings, sickness and financial crisis. Ashleigh doesn’t camouflage the pain in her own marriage, and offers practical ideas on how to walk through the difficulties and find intimacy on the journey. If you are anything like me, I predict that as you read, you too will find yourself laughing, wiping tears, and saying 'Oh, yes.'"
-- Gary Chapman, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The 5 Love Languages
We are a member of the Amazon affiliate program and regularly use affiliate links. If you purchase an item from an Amazon link we provide, we will receive a small referral commission. This doesn’t cost you anything additional. We only share books, music, and products that our writers personally have used and highly recommend.
Faith4 years ago
When Doing Justly, Loving Mercy, and Walking Humbly Stand at Odds
Motherhood4 years ago
Surviving a Strong-Willed Child
Faith5 years ago
7 Ways to Create A Family Altar
Friendship6 years ago
Beyond the Registry: The Ultimate Gift Guide for Expectant Parents
Relationships9 months ago
5 Ways to Teach Your Child to Hear God
Marriage6 years ago
4 Reasons I’m Not Facebook Friends With My Husband
Everyday Faith5 years ago
6 Simple Ways to Give Thanks in the Thick of It
Articles6 years ago
10 Ways Life is Like a Box of Chocolates
Articles7 years ago
How to Lift Up the One You Love
Articles6 years ago
Relationships1 year ago
Facing Our Motherhood Fears
Digging Into Scripture6 months ago
How the Psalms Speak to Our Emotions