Leaves pop from awaiting trees, green grass pushes away dormant pieces, perennials begin to flourish, and warmer days are introduced on selected mornings with embedded calmness and also with sometimes brisk and boisterous winds. Seeds are sprouting at farms, and tomato plants in one hand-built small conservatory are flowering and are in the beginning stages of showing off healthy productions. And herbs and plants in my greenhouses survived the winter! God’s glory, shown in all that I share here.
I took a few weeks from writing, sharing, and communing. I took a few weeks far removed from it all because I needed quieter moments. During this time away, I have had several conversations with dear friends in which I discussed the importance of the required continuous nurture for this life-long quest for a quiet and content soul. A calm soul to me means to only foster sweetness and realness in this precious life God has given to me.
The friends I keep are those who understand the importance of nurture spread all around. Not just the form given out but also the type received from those who find it easy to give encouraging words, prayers, thoughts, sweetness, and gentleness. Yes, these characteristics are located in the friends I keep and features of the new people who are quickly meeting me in the middle as our precious friendships grow. These people who crave only God’s truth sit next to me, around me, before me, and behind me as we soak in truth delivered to us through our pastors. Contentment resides in this place as worry ceases.
In one of his many teaching series, Dr. R.C. Sproul spoke about natural theology. I found this lesson intriguing because of the healing of mind and spirit nature gives when one is open enough to receive. On trying days, my weary heart finds comfort as I soak in all the wonders of God.
In Romans 1:19-20, Apostle Paul tells us this:
“For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”
Natural theology (NT) refers to a knowledge of God that is gained from nature. NT also consists of general revelation. General revelation refers to something that God does. Now, hold on, as I begin to include the topics of nature and the Godly characteristics of friends I’ve mentioned above. Sproul noted that general revelation about NT is provided to everyone. In addition, it offers content of knowledge of God in general.
There are two kinds of general revelation:
- Mediate is the revelation God gives to people through a medium such as we read about in Psalm 19:1, ‘The heavens declare the glory of God and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.”
- Immediate is not as in instantaneous, but more in the sense of direct revelation without an intervening medium. It exists when one holds an innate sense of God, or a ‘sense of the Divine within”, like John Calvin described. One example of God’s immediacy in our lives shows in Job 33:4. The verse says this, “For the Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.”
Friends, at this moment in time, even on humanly led and circumstantial days of disappointment, I feel so fortunate. Daily, I am humbled by God’s favor He continues to bestow on me. My heart opens wide whenever I am in nature. It cries with great joy! He continues to forgive me for all of my transgressions as I take in the verses of Ezekiel 36:26-27 “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.”
Within me, I cultivate and know that as God speaks to Ezekiel, He speaks to me with His clear, unaltered words. In my dear friends who only seek God’s truth, I experience this growth as I know that His essence is within them, too.
“Now is the time for the soul to seek communion with her Beloved; now must she rise from her native sordidness, and come away from her old associations. If we do not hoist the sail when the breeze is favourable, we shall be blameworthy: times of refreshing ought not to pass over us unimproved. When Jesus Himself visits us in tenderness, and entreats us to arise, can we be so base as to refuse His request?”- C.H. Spurgeon
The concept of natural theology is a simple process; yet it is quite profound. Because I am knowledgeable in it, I am notably offered opportunities to relish in its beauty each day. I know of it in my garden, the farms I keep, the animals I care for, the blue skies of Colorado, and in friends who not only speak of God but in those who show His goodness, while at the same time, leaves pop out of tree branches, and the grass begins to grow! Together, we celebrate this wholesome and beneficial life as we experience God in nature and consistently in the betterment of us!
We grow together, inside and out!
Spurgeon, C.H. (1866, Reprinted 2018). Morning and Evening. Barbour Books