[Editor’s Note: When God created the world, he saw that “it was good.” In this series, we want to explore how our faith in Jesus helps us celebrate and enjoy what’s good in creation––but also work as stewards to help it thrive to its fullest potential. Caring for our planet, including plants and animals, fungi and microbes, ecosystems and people, is a high calling from God––a calling in which we can engage out of love and not fear. The gospel gives us hope that what is broken can be restored, and even now, we can enjoy what has been given to us. Join us as we #celebratecreation.]
My family owns a cottage, and all year around, it’s so beautiful. The lake shimmers with the sun—or with ice! What makes it especially beautiful is how the natural world at the cottage points me to God.
In the summer, I love to go down to the waterfront and swim. If the sun is out and hot, the water feels like a warm bath, and I’ll swim for an hour or so. But if it’s cool, I swim for about five minutes, until I start shivering. Afterwards, I like to listen to the waves, beating against the rocks. If I listen closely, they sound like drums, announcing God’s presence, like a strong army announcing a king. I’m amazed that God created everything for a purpose—could these waves be a reminder that God is always near? When I look at the moving water, I’m reminded how strong and powerful God is, as the waves lift the boats up and down, splashing me on shore.
In the fall, I go for walks on the trails with my father. Sometimes I can feel the breeze off the lake, brushing my face. There are days when the wind is so strong that it takes my breath away. I know that this is crazy, but sometimes I can feel God’s Spirit in the wind. This reminds me that God is always with me, even when I’m not aware of him at first. I like to see the leaves change from green to orange and red. On occasion, I see wildlife, and it is mysterious and fun to watch. For example, when we have geese on our lawn, my father has to chase them off to keep our grass green!
In the winter, I like to look up at the stars on clear, crisp nights at the lake. All I can do is stare at them with awe and wonder. I always feel so small, like a speck compared to the universe. However, I praise God for his beautiful works and how big and mighty he is. There are other nights when the moon lights the snow, hiding the stars, but making it easier to see the winter woods around the cottage. Those nights also point me to God, as I soak in his bright love for me.
Even when I’m not aware of him, sometimes God stops me in my tracks. It could be as simple as a blue jay, singing praises to him or the sun shining his light on the world. The blue jay’s strong voice reminds me of Psalm 96:6, which says, “Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.’’Birds always make sweet sounds, especially when they play or take a bath in the lake. They make me think about God’s authority over all creation and how he cares for them. In the spring, I like to watch the baby ducks following after their mother. They remind me that I’m one of God’s children and I need him to protect me every single day. Even the little baby ducks are in his hands!
Even when I’m not aware of him, sometimes God stops me in my tracks.
When I reflect on how God created seasons—spring, summer, fall and winter—I am reminded that every season has its strength. Ecclesiastes 3:1 declares that “there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.’’ I believe this is true, because I’ve seen this reality at my cottage.
In the end, I believe that God created everything for himself and to bring him glory. All things in nature can point me to him, even if they are imperfect. I’m looking forward to seeing when he will make a new heaven and a new earth. I will be right there beside him, serving him and giving him glory. For now, I will enjoy what he has made and thank him for everything, especially for my cottage.