In the Garden of Eden, God created an idyllic place for mankind to live. God walked and talked with Adam and Eve in this exquisite garden of paradise. What perfection that must have been- to have such an intimate relationship with God in a place exhibiting the purest form of beauty.
Living in Eden is no longer an option for us, but we are still drawn to beautiful and peaceful places in nature. I always feel closest to God when I am outside, away from buildings and pavement. After all, humans built churches, but God built all of nature. I would rather be in His house.*
God created this earth not only to provide us with resources for food and housing, but He also made places to rest and to play and to experience beauty and awe. Is there a better place to experience God’s majesty than on a mountaintop; or to appreciate God’s gift of peace than beside the still waters of a lake; or to wonder at God’s creativity than spotting a wild animal in its natural habitat?
There is more luring us to the outdoors than just pretty scenery and thrills of adventure. The gentle and delicate way light filters through the green leaves of a forest, and the thundering crash of waves against a rocky shore all hint there is something bigger, something more meaningful and powerful in our midst.
As we leave our homes and daily routine behind and step into these quiet and awe- inspiring places, we can hear whispers of Eden echoing in our souls. Perhaps nature has always meant to be the meeting place of God and man. Eden’s whispers ripple through the ages and beckon us back to those places God has created for us, keeping us searching for what was lost and what we know will come again.
Psalm 96: 11-13
11 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
let the sea resound, and all that is in it.
12 Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them;
let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.
13 Let all creation rejoice before the Lord, for he comes,
he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples in his faithfulness.
*I just want to clarify: I am an advocate of attending church services with other believers. My point is that church buildings offer no special powers or direct avenues to God.