Behind the Blog

How did I get a blog?  It’s Job’s fault, I tell you. Well, that’s where it all started at least. You see, I was reading Lioness Arising, by Lisa Bevere. I was in study mode-- reading so slow one would seriously think I was just learning to read. In essence, I was devouring every word…because after all, Lisa Bevere is a gifted teacher of God’s heart and one of my favorite authors. That said, I don’t just read her books. I devour them.  As I allowed myself to be taught by this Christian author’s newest revelation, I came across a verse that stopped me in my tracks.  “Stopped me” because I had never heard or seen it in the Bible. Almost on instinct, I reached for my new Message translation of the Bible to double-check the verse. Not that I questioned Lisa Bevere, but because the scripture spoke so powerfully to me. I just had to see it with my own eyes. Many people may not have given the verse a second glance. It wasn’t like it was off of the Top Ten Christian scripture list. No reference to John 3:16 or Psalm 23:4 here. Nothing spoken of Jesus Christ’s salvation or God’s protection. In fact, the scripture that impacted me so greatly was Job 35:11--a scripture about creation. Here is an excerpt from Lioness Arising that captured the attention of my heart and rendered my spirit speechless: “According to Job, nature has the potential to teach us. God sets out the entire creation as a science classroom, using birds and beasts to teach wisdom.” Friends, when I read these words, a sense of both awe and wonder crept over my entire being. I had always loved nature. Maybe it helps that I come from a generation of gardeners/flower-lovers. My Granny loves flowers. My mother loves flowers. My Granny currently has multiple flowers growing around her house. So does my mother. When my mother visits her mother (Granny) they always seem to end up trading their flowers. This is because there is never a lack of flowers on either side. While I can't say I am an experienced gardener like Granny or Mom, I can say I've always had a heart to learn how to be...

Me "Helping" Granny
The above picture was taken at my Granny and Papa's house. They live in Anderson, SC. I am proud to say I had the pleasure of "helping" Granny with one of her flower beds...I think I was one.

When I got a little older, the desire to be in nature grew.  I used to run through the woods with a sling-shot in hand, pretending I was some sort of Indian princess who lived off the land and knew the forest animals by name.  (Yes, I did watch lots of Disney movies.)

As an unsaved teenager, I would sit under the starry night sky and huddle with my cats and dog whenever I felt unloved or misunderstood by the world. Today, I enjoy nature hikes and kayak trips with my husband. Somehow, we feel more like the individuals we were created to be when we’re in nature—away from work and the distractions of our daily lives. No doubt, creation evokes peace. 

If I am truly honest with myself, I think I can say in my heart that I always knew I was closest to God when I was in nature. I thought this was simply due to the fact that humans are part of God’s creation. Upon reading Job 35:11, however, pieces of a greater puzzle seemed to fall into place. Was there more to that feeling of belonging in the great outdoors? Was it more than just feeling closer to God? Has He perhaps been trying to teach us something? Suddenly, a familiar verse crept into the forefront of my mind: “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) I have to say I grimaced. As soon as I learned about this scripture, I both loved and disliked it. “Loved” because…well, it’s God’s Word, and I welcome any chance to learn something from God. “Disliked” because I had no clue if I ever genuinely understood what this verse meant. Up until this point, I had thought it only to mean we are to quiet our thoughts, pray, and listen for God to speak. However, the words of Job 35:11 seemed to add an important puzzle piece to Psalm 46:10 that I had been missing for quite some time. As I mulled things over, God began to show me that the two scriptures fit together perfectly. Just think, if we could take a moment and step away from the busyness of our lives—if we could find a quiet place in nature to quiet our souls and “be still”, couldn't we create the perfect environment from which to listen and learn from God? I believed we could...but more than that. I further believe God was revealing to me that it is quite possible we would be able to hear Him instructing us His ways and imparting His wisdom through the trees, in the sparrow's song, or perhaps even in the ocean waves that crash on the shoreline at night. I was intrigued that God could be trying to teach us important lessons through His creation that would allow us to really “know Him” the way in which Psalm 46:10 speaks. 

Actually, "intrigued" is an understatement. Truth be told, God had succeeded to ignite a fire in my spirit that desired to seek out more answers. Friends, I must tell you that ever since God was so kind to open my eyes to the unexpected revelation behind Job 35:11, I can not look at creation the same way I used to.

I absolutely love the picture Job's friend Elihu painted of creation being like a classroom.  Perhaps it’s because I used to be an elementary school teacher, or maybe it's because I've always liked to learn new things, myself. Growing up, my parents understood the importance of education and always provided me with lots of gifts that would foster my love for learning.

Four Years Old: Yay for Sesame Street!
Whatever the case, it delights me to my innermost being to picture God using things He created to teach us about life and who He is. Could creation be God's educational gift to us?  The best way to teach someone is to model it for them. In addition, a person has the best chance of retaining a concept if they actually get to participate in a project first-hand. How absolutely perfect of God to provide hands-on learning for His children!
He really IS the best teacher:

“You call Me the Teacher and the Lord, and you are right in doing so, for that is what I am.” –John 13:13

In addition, we never have to worry about running out of things to be taught. Why? Because we have been given more "educational toys" than we know what to do with! Just look at the size of creation. There are reportedly over 10,000 species of birds in the world, alone. God loves us so much that He made sure we can never run out of things to study and learn!

As I reflect a moment to focus on how vast creation is, I am struck by another thought. Is the fact that God created so many species of plants and animals an indication of how many chances He has given humanity to turn to Him for direction and wisdom? Romans 1:19 answers my question: "For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification]" (Amplified, emphasis mine) The Message Bible's translation is even more plain: "But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can't see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse." This verse only confirmed for me that it is quite possible to know our great and multifaceted God by opening our eyes and studying creation.

Continuing my study of the Bible and what God says about the topic of creation, I gathered more insight. The Apostle Paul tells us that "creation [all nature] waits expectantly and longs earnestly for God's sons (and daughters) to be made known [waits for their revealing, the disclosing of their sonship]." (Romans 8:19 Amplified) After pausing to see what God has to teach us through creation, we find that we gain wisdom--we find that we begin to "know God." Further, since we are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), as we gain revelation of who God is we have no choice but to learn about who we are called to be. As we begin to know ourselves in light of who God created us to be, we begin to think differently. We begin to act differently toward those around us. Soon, we may actually start walking into the destinies, or callings that God intended for us to fulfill on earth from the very beginning. In other words, we begin to be "revealed" as the sons and daughters of God to all of creation. Now, that's exciting!

In the following months after receiving the above revelation from God, I have been bombarded (in a good way) with “creation lessons” from Him. This blog is intended to keep a record of those lessons and also to share what I’ve learned with others. My hope is that you, the reader are encouraged, inspired, and filled with a deeper desire to “know God.”