Delight in Beauty’s Creator
Psalm 33 opens with a call to us to invest time and energy in praising God: “Rejoice in the Lord…. Praise the Lord with the lyre…. Sing to him a new song.”
According to verses 6-9 in Psalm 33, one of the things that can prompt us to praise God is the wonder of nature: “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all their host by the breath of his mouth. He gathered the waters of the sea as in a bottle; he put the deeps in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.”
Master Eckhart once commented, “God is like a person who clears his throat while hiding and so gives himself away.” The beauty of nature is like God clearing his throat. The beauty of nature captures our attention. When we look at it, we become aware that Someone is behind it—Someone of immense power, creativity, order and love. Every time nature provokes a thrill within our hearts, it is like God is clearing his throat to reveal his hiding place behind the beauty of nature.
The great naturalist John Muir would agree with that perspective. Once, when he was asked what he did for a living, he explained, “I study the inventions of God!” The study of nature is a study of the inventions of God. Delighting in nature prompts us to rejoice in the Creator of all beauty.
Robert Boyle, who has been referred to as the ‘Father of Modern Chemistry,’ put it this way, “[When] I study the book of nature I find myself oftentimes reduced to exclaim with the Psalmist, How manifold are Thy works, O Lord! In wisdom hast Thou made them all!” (Psalm 104:24)
Because nature is the work of God, and since the beauty of nature prompts us to notice the invisible God who is hiding amidst the beauty, spending time delighting in nature draws us closer to God and does much good to the human soul. For this reason, Ralph Waldo Emerson advised, “Never lose an opportunity for seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God’s handwriting, a wayside sacrament.”
Rachel Carson stresses, “Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts!”
John Muir encourages us, “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.”
Behold the beauty of nature, and delight in its Creator!