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Noticing Nature

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts
The Truth Network Radio
May 8, 2021 8:00 pm

Noticing Nature

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts

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May 8, 2021 8:00 pm

A friend and I recently visited a favorite walking spot of mine. Climbing a windswept hill, we crossed a field of wildflowers into a forest of towering pines, then descended into a valley where we paused a moment. Clouds floated softly above us. A stream trickled nearby. The only sounds were birdsongs. Jason and I stood there silently for fifteen minutes, taking it all in.

As it turns out, our actions that day were deeply therapeutic. According to research from the University of Derby, people who stop to contemplate nature experience higher levels of happiness, lower levels of anxiety, and a greater desire to care for the earth. Walking through the forest isn’t enough, though. You have to watch the clouds, listen to the birds. The key isn’t being in nature, but noticing it.

Could there be a spiritual reason for nature’s benefits? Paul said that creation reveals God’s power and nature (Romans 1:20). God told Job to look at the sea, sky, and stars for evidence of His presence (Job 38–39). Jesus said that contemplating the “birds of the air” and “flowers of the field” could reveal God’s care and reduce anxiety (Matthew 6:25–30). In Scripture, noticing nature is a spiritual practice.

Scientists wonder why nature affects us so positively. Maybe one reason is that by noticing nature we catch a glimpse of the God who created it and who notices us.

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Thanks for joining me for this Sunday edition of the Our Daily Bread devotional. My name is Sheridan Voisey and I've titled today's reading Noticing Nature. A friend and I recently visited a favourite walking spot of mine. Climbing a windswept hill, we crossed a field of wildflowers into a forest of towering pines, then descended into a valley where we paused a moment. Clouds floated softly above us. A stream trickled nearby.

The only sounds were birdsongs. Jason and I stood there silently for 15 minutes, taking it all in. As it turns out, our actions that day were deeply therapeutic. According to research from the University of Derby, people who stopped to contemplate nature experienced higher levels of happiness, lower levels of anxiety and a greater desire to care for the earth. Walking through the forest isn't enough though. You have to watch the clouds, listen to the birds. The key isn't being in nature, but noticing it. Could there be a spiritual reason for nature's benefits? Paul said in Romans 1 that creation reveals God's power in nature.

God told Job to look at the sea, sky and stars for evidence of his presence. Jesus said in Matthew 6 that contemplating the birds of the air and flowers of the field could reveal God's care and reduce anxiety. In scripture, noticing nature is a spiritual practice. Scientists wonder why nature affects us so positively. Maybe one reason is that by noticing nature we catch a glimpse of the God who created it and who notices us.

Today's scripture reading is from Matthew chapter 6 verses 25 to 34. Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air. They do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

Can any one of you by worrying at a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labour or spin, yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, what shall we eat, or what shall we drink, or what shall we wear? For the pagans run after all these things, and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.

Each day has enough trouble of its own. Let's pray. Lord, all creation reflects your power in nature. Would you open my eyes today to see something of you? Would you open my ears to hear something of you? May I experience you through the scents of my garden and the tastes on my plate, and praise you through the lovely textures I touched today. You are an amazing Creator. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen. Today's encouragement was provided by Our Daily Bread Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-20 08:56:54 / 2023-11-20 08:58:38 / 2

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