The Stillness of Nature
By Dennis Edwards
As the sun’s morning rays broke across the cloudy sky, I ran along the beachfront near our house. It was quiet. It was time for my morning exercise, while at the same time I pray for my loved ones and reflect and seek His guidance for the day. It’s a lovely time in the morning, in the early quiet, before the hustle of the day is upon us.
On this particular morning, some fishermen were preparing their boat, and I watched as they performed their early morning vigil of putting the boat into the water and then up and away onto the sea. A few other early risers walked along the beachfront, some scurrying off to work while others meandered along in what seemed like a more meditative mood. A friend of mine had bought his morning paper and stood gazing out to the sea, before turning and heading off to his local café for the day’s work ahead.
Why is it many are so drawn to the quiet of the seaside or the stillness of the mountain?
I recently joined a trailblazer’s club. Once a month they organize a hiking event in the mountains. The scenic views are indescribably beautiful, breathtaking. In the group there are people from all walks of life—parents with their teens or older children, lawyers, teachers, hairdressers, students, retirees, etc.—all drawn to the mountain.
I was contemplating why it is that we yearn for the quiet places like mountains and early morning walks along the beach, what it is that we are lacking within ourselves that drives us to get up early and sacrifice to climb that mountain trail or walk along that beach.
The psalmist wrote: “As the hart (deer) pants after the water brooks, so pants my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?”1 Our souls are searching for God, seeking His presence, His benediction on our weary lives. When I was young, I remember going into the church and feeling God’s presence in the quiet and stillness of the great ornate building. But many of today’s generation are looking elsewhere.
I believe that God created a longing in the heart of every human being for Him. God has put that longing for His presence within us so that our spirit yearns for connection with Him.
Do you have a respectful, awe-inspiring admiration for His creation, for His presence? Are you seeking God during that early morning walk or nature walk in the evening or on the weekend? He is not far from you, as the apostle Paul so wisely said: “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwells not in temples made with hands. Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he gives to all life, and breath, and all things. And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being.”2
We walk along the beach or in the mountains, we walk in nature, because we sense the presence of God. We sense His eternal perfection and love. Jesus is the ultimate manifestation of God’s eternal perfection and love.3 Through Him we regain our connection with God; we regain God’s presence in our life. That’s why He said, “He that comes to me shall never hunger; and he that believes on me shall never thirst.”4
In the Old Testament we read, “Ho, every one that thirsts, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labor for that which satisfies not? Hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live.”5
When we seek God with all our hearts, He never disappoints.