Seeing God in Nature

God’s eternal power and divine nature are clearly seen through the world He created. We see His handiwork everywhere.

"Seeing God in Nature" with image of woman standing on a cliff overlooking a big lake

For the invisible things of Him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even His everlasting power and divinity…

Romans 1:20

I think that’s why I love being in the outdoors so much. I don’t even have to go to the mountains or to a wilderness area. I can walk in my own neighborhood and be reminded of God’s character and goodness through what’s around me.

My family and I took a 2-week road trip to Wyoming one June. We camped every night and spent time in some of the most gorgeous and unique country in the US.

Being in places like that always—Always—reminds me of the One who made it. I love seeing God’s nature, character and handiwork in the beauty around us.

Here are 7 of God’s character attributes we can plainly see in His workmanship in nature:

1. Seeing God Through His Creativity

We see God’s creativity in the astounding variety in the natural world. How is it possible He could come up with such a vast array of birds… insects… mammals… trees… flowers?

bull moose
A bull moose in the Bighorn Mountains of northcentral Wyoming—homely, yet majestic!

His is the most creative mind in the universe! And as His children “we have Christ’s mind” too (1 Corinthians 2:16). That means we can ask Him for His creative answers in our work, in our relationships, in solving problems.

2. Seeing God in Nature’s Strength

One of the most feared animals in the Teton/Yellowstone wilderness—and the one people most want to see—is the grizzly bear. Massive power. And the Lower Falls of Yellowstone—dumping up to 63,500 gallons of water every second 308 feet down into the Canyon.

mount moran in the grand tetons, behind a lake
Mt. Moran, part of the Teton Range, behind Leigh Lake

The immovability of the mountains. And the yet untapped power of Yellowstone’s supervolcano lying beneath the Park. If unleashed it could pulverize those same mountains in a matter of minutes.

And God spoke them into existence! “His kingdom rules over all.” (Psalm 103:19) Even supervolcanoes.

3. Seeing God’s Love of Beauty

Whenever I get into the mountains, my attention is always caught by the beauty of the alpine wildflowers. They’re exquisite. And yet it seems God “wasted” their beauty by putting them in places very, very few people ever see!

glacier lilies with their bright yellow blooms, mountains behind
Glacier lilies in a meadow at Logan Pass, Glacier National Park, Montana

Why would He do that?

I believe it’s because He loves beauty for beauty’s sake. He put it everywhere—on the earth, in the water, in the sky. And He created us to love and appreciate it, too. Wow!

4. Seeing God’s Attention to Detail

Each bird comes with its own colors, shape and sound. Each tree has its own bark and leaf. Each flower has its own petals and seeds. From the tiny microorganisms that color the hot springs of Yellowstone, to the shapes of the mountain ranges—detail is stamped everywhere.

yellowstone's grand prismatic geyser
Grand Prismatic Geyser in Yellowstone.

“There is no creature that is hidden from his sight, but all things are naked and laid open before the eyes of him to whom we must give an account.” (Hebrews 4:13) We can trust Him with the details of our lives, too.

5. Seeing God’s Tenacity in Nature

One of the craziest things to see are trees—big ones—growing out of solid rock on the mountainsides! How in the world do they find the nutrients they need out of the tiny amounts of soil there? And yet their roots find places to cling to, and they grow despite the impossibility of it.

tree roots wrapped around rocks
A tree grows on solid rock.

I don’t often think of God being tenacious. But Psalm 139:7-10 says:

Where could I go from your Spirit?
    Or where could I flee from your presence?
If I ascend up into heaven, you are there.
    If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, you are there!
If I take the wings of the dawn,
    and settle in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand will lead me,
    and your right hand will hold me.

What good news!

Another illustration that comes to mind is Jesus’ parable of the shepherd leaving the 99 sheep to search for the one that’s lost (Matthew 18:12-14 and Luke 15:4-7). The Lord tenaciously pursues us. He’s tenacious about seeing His Kingdom’s purpose done on the earth.

6. Seeing God’s Orderliness All Around Us

I love looking up at the stars when we’re out in the wilderness. There are no city lights to dull their brightness. There are millions of them, seemingly spread out randomly across the sky.

starry skies over a mountain
(I didn’t take this one—it’s from Canva)

But they’re not random! All I need to find is the Big Dipper and I know where north is. Always. No matter where in the country I am or what time of year it is.

Constellations are so orderly and predictable that sailors could navigate across the oceans for centuries using just the stars.

7. Seeing Redemption in Nature

One the most astounding things to see is the aftermath of a forest fire. Fire seems—and is—so destructive. And yet new life comes in the forest within weeks…days, even.

post-forest fire in yellowstone
Tree “skeletons” and new growth mark a forest fire burn area in Yellowstone

In fact, some varieties of pine trees can only seed when the heat of a fire unseals their cones! One of those is the lodgepole pine, that grows all over the mountains of the West. Another is the Jack pine that grows here in Minnesota.

The ground, also, becomes very fertile with the ash from the fire. New plant life springs up everywhere. We noticed on a canoe trip in the Boundary Waters a few years ago that the wild blueberries grew best in the areas that had been burned by a major fire.

God is an expert at redeeming hardship, disaster, even death. As His children, we can expect and trust Him to redeem any area of our life we give over to Him.

What do YOU see in our wonderful natural world?

All scriptures are from the World English Bible, public domain.

Here’s more…

Sharon Brodin