Have you ever had a favorite life verse for years and then gradually another verse rose to the top as your new favorite that you now ponder every day? That recently happened to me. My new favorite, Psalm 37:4, reads “Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart” (ESV). The true meaning of this Scripture has been slowly growing in my heart; I now feel like I’m just starting to understand its message. It is actually a mirror image of itself. If I continually delight myself in the Lord, then I eventually realize that He is the desire of my heart. Everything else becomes trivial and lacking compared to Him. The more time I spend with Him, the more I read about Him, and the more I listen to Him, the more beautiful He becomes to me.
One of the ways I love to soak God in, meditating on Him and His Word, is by going outside. I love to take long walks on my favorite paths through the woods or around the lake. Sometimes I simply sit on the back porch and let my eyes take in the feast of what they see. This keeps me from staring at my phone, watching TV, or having distractions. I love to notice all of the details—large and small—that display God’s handiwork. No two trees, birds, mushrooms, clouds, or mountains are alike. His creativity blows my mind. Looking at the intricacies of a mushroom or the grandness of the sky brings the grandness of who He is into focus for me.
I used to teach art to children, and one of the first things I would tell them is, “No one can ever say that they aren’t creative.” One of the first things we see God doing in the Book of Genesis is creating, and we are made in His image; therefore He has given us the ability to be creative! As an artist, I relate deeply to God through His creation and creativity. Don’t get me wrong—there’s no worship of the creation here. It is simply my way of trying to fathom how beautiful He truly is by noticing the beauty of what He has made.
Psalm 27:4 reads, “One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple” (ESV). If you’ve ever stood on the rim of the Grand Canyon, thumbed through photos of constellations, or stared into a massive waterfall, you probably know what I mean. It’s mind-boggling to think that the One who made all this is infinitely more magnificent than anything we see here. Can you just imagine?
One of my favorite memories of worshiping God in creation happened on a mission trip to Kenya. We were privileged to drive through a game park and came upon a pride of lions. The male lion was sitting on a small outcropping staring into the sunset, and he was glowing in that golden hour of evening light. I couldn’t help but cry. The scene made me realize what a mighty God I serve and why He is referred to as the Lion of Judah. He is simply beautiful.
John tried so hard to describe Him in Revelation 4 with phrases like an appearance of jasper and ruby, a rainbow that was like an emerald encircling Him, flashes of lightning, rumblings, and thunder coming from the throne, and a sea of glass, similar to crystal, before the throne. I’m sure John was trying his best to describe something that blew his mind, and he had to use objects and examples that he knew others might understand to describe God. I bet if we could ask him, he’d say, My words didn’t come close to what I saw. It reminds me of when I go on a walk and try to take a photo of something that catches my eye—like the way the sunlight sparkles on top of the water—then I look at my photo and see a gray lake with green trees. The photo never does the real thing justice! What I’m actually seeing is so much more. And God is so much more than any created thing we see on earth. We can’t even imagine just how grand He really is.
Take a hike and take a Scripture with you to focus on and then talk to Him as you go!
Get outside and see for yourself the things God has made.
Leigh Ann Dans has been a graphic designer for Lifeway Women for the past ten years, and worked for Lifeway over twenty-five years. She can’t wait to see her two grandchildren Macayla and Kayden and uses as much of her vacation time as she can to spend with them. She loves to think of creative ways to engage them and take them on new adventures.