Thursday, March 7, 2013

On Nature & God

by Donna L. Watkins

Being connected to nature is critical to being emotionally and physically healthy according to much research being done in this field.  One of the terms used is Green Exercise.  We were created to be outdoors.  Sometimes humans forget that or have never been introduced to the idea.
Job 12:7-9 says, "But ask the animals, and they will teach you; the birds of the air, and they will tell you; ask the plants of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you.  Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this?"
I have treasured the book, “My Utmost for His Highest,” by Oswald Chambers, for many years.  Randal and I both have copies of it and for many years read it daily, year after year.  It has a message for each day of the year, so it can be used like a devotional book that you go through again and again and again revealing layer upon layer of wisdom.

© Donna L. Watkins - Dogwood Blossoms
Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC
Oswald Chambers was born in Scotland in 1874, moved to London when he was 15 and shortly thereafter accepted Christ.

This began a period of rapid spiritual growth, along with an intense struggle to find God’s will and way for his life. He was a gifted artist and musician having been trained at London's Royal Academy of Art, and thought he would be an ambassador for Christ in the world of arts.

While studying at the University of Edinburgh, after an agonizing internal battle, he decided to study for the ministry and left the university to enroll at Dunoon College, near Glasgow, where he studied as a student and then remained as a tutor for nine years.

He was now well-known, but had a small following who appreciated his rare insight and expression. Chambers often startled his audiences with his rigorous thoughts and vivid expressions making his teachings difficult to dismiss and certainly impossible to ignore.

Here's a few related to nature that would obviously be some of my favorites. Maybe they'll inspire you also.
"The people of God in Isaiah’s day had starved their imagination by looking on the face of idols, and Isaiah made them look up at the heavens, that is, he made them begin to use their imagination aright. Nature to a saint is sacramental. If we are children of God, we have a tremendous treasure in Nature. In every wind that blows, in every night and day of the year, in every sign of the sky, in every blossoming and in every withering of the earth, there is a real coming of God to us if we will simply use our starved imagination to realize it."  (February 10) 
"Learn to associate ideas worthy of God with all that happens in Nature - the sunrises and the sunsets, the sun and the stars, the changing seasons, and your imagination will never be at the mercy of your impulses, but will always be at the service of God."  (February 11) 
"A lily, or a tree, or a servant of God, may convey God’s message to me. What hinders me from hearing is that I am taken up with other things. It is not that I will not hear God, but I am not devoted in the right place. I am devoted to things, to service, to convictions, and god may say what He likes, but I do not hear Him. The child attitude is always, “Speak, Lord, for They servant heareth.” If I have not cultivated this devotion of hearing, I can only hear God’s voice at certain times; at other times I am taken up with things - things which I say I must do, I become deaf to Him, I am not living the life of a child."  (February 13)
Oswald was not famous in his lifetime and at his death in 1917 at age 43, he had only three books published. He was not widely known in Britain or the U.S. He died in Cairo on November 15, 1917, of complications following an emergency appendectomy. The complete story of his life is told in "Oswald Chambers: Abandoned to God."

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