God’s glorious creation. A world of beauty in ways we will never be able to understand, has been created for us to enjoy. Give God a little extra thanks this Thanksgiving, by getting out there and enjoying all that He has created. #Optoutside and go explore! Day 7 of 7 for our Everyday Thanksgiving Series.
Everyday Thanksgiving // Creation
You know that moment when you are outside in God’s creation and your breathe is literally sucked out of your lungs, and you are left only able to exhale at the complete beauty that you are surrounded by? I would say that is the moment you are physically feeling the unseen wonder and power of God’s creation.
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Romans 1:20
God-Orchestrated Adventures – New Zealand
Last summer, I had the incredible, God-orchestrated opportunity to live in Auckland, New Zealand for two months with friends (who were basically strangers) that I had met only a few weeks earlier while studying abroad in Thailand. The time I spent there was life changing (actually a huge reason why I had the idea to start Live Salted), and an adventure that I will be forever grateful for.
While there, my friend Emily and I decided to take a 10 day trip down to the South Island, starting in Queenstown and ending in Christchurch. If you have ever been to this country you will be able to relate, but I swear the entire time I was there I was in this constant state of awe- only able to inhale and exhale the beauty of all that was around me. It was there that I fell in love with roads and how they curved and hugged the natural lines of the mountains and valleys.
It was there that I felt small surrounded by taller mountains than I have ever seen before. It was there that my breath was taken away with expansive lakes reflecting like a mirror what ever was surrounding it. It was there that I saw a hue of pink in a sunrise that I have never seen before in my life. It was there that the power of creation really started to hit me.
“The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours; The world and all it contains, You have founded them.” – Psalms 89:11
The Power of Creation
One of the days we were in Queenstown, the family we were staying with, Emily and myself decided to go and summit Ben Lomond- a mountain with it’s peak at 5,735 feet. It was winter, so we had gone to a rental shop the day before to rent trekking boots and cramp-ons so we would be safe up on the mountain with the conditions. After taking the sky tram up to the base of the trail, we were on our way. It got a little treacherous and narrow at parts, and with heavy winds some of the group decided to turn and go back, but the three brothers and myself decided to continue on. We trekked our way to the top through switch backs and ups and downs, and when we go to the top – I kid you not the clouds parted and a rainbow appeared.
We pulled out our ciders (our celebratory drink of choice), and sat for a little taking in the beauty of all around us. As our sweat dried and started to cool us off, we decided to hike it back down and meet up with the others. But it was on that walk back- that God’s power hit me.
We were rounding the bend, when nature literally shouted out to me, grabbing my attention and telling me to listen. It was like I was stopped in my tracks at the sheer beauty. My friend Ben was ahead of me, and the way my perspective framed him in front of the lake with the colors and the crispness and the shalom of the moment- I was overwhelmed.
“The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.“ -Psalms 16:1-4
Those mountains. That lake. The colors of the day- they didn’t speak and they didn’t have words, yet I felt their voice and the power of their words through my entire being.
God’s creation does not need words to speak, it just needs us to slow down to fully take in the sheer power and beauty of all that it embodies.
All Worship Creation- Even If They Don’t Know It
Throughout this entire trip- through snowboarding on the sloops, to driving down long windy roads, to hiking through forests and exploring around big boulders, to sitting in awe at lakes and lookouts- I realized that even if someone is not a believer they worship the Creator by how they use His creation.
Think of a skier or snowboarder- without consciously recognizing it, they are thanking the Lord as they carve down a mountain and land tricks in the half pipe stoked with the fresh cool air on their skin. Or think about a rock climber and she is grasping and holding on the the lips and edges of rock feeding her passion with the adrenaline in her vines a few hundred feet of the ground. Or think of a group of friends swinging off trees into waterfalls, lakes, and local swimming holes with the biggest smile on their faces and joy running through their bodies.
Knowing it or not, they are giving praise to the Lord as they are using His creation for the purpose in which it was created – to bring us joy.
We serve a creative God, a talented God, a thoughtful God, and whenever we find joy outside in nature exploring His world, we are giving him praise- whether we know it or not.
Today, on your Everyday Thanksgiving worksheet, your challenge is to write down 5 small different trips you have been on, or 5 elements of creation that you are thankful for. It is one thing to think about these things, but another to write them down. When you physically write something, you remember it so much clearer, and by the end of the week will be able to look back at all the things you were grateful in that week.
PLUS, if you post a photo and tag @livesalted and hashtag #livesalted, you will be entered to win one of our soon-to-be released Salt Yourself Secret Santa Boxes!
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, we would love to hear!