Note from Team LO: We are SO excited to bring you this month’s post from our LO sister member, Kaitlin Esper! If you want to be a part of this incredible community, you can join today! Find out more about this online sisterhood HERE. And for more info about what LO sister is all about, visit our Instagram Page!
Now, enjoy today’s post from Kaitlin 🙂
Happy late Earth Day friends!
Isn’t it cool when secular holidays celebrate God’s intention for His creation? Even though Earth Day isn’t technically a legit holiday, it is considered the “largest secular observance in the world.”
While the internet may define this as a secular observance, in my eyes, it’s a day that billions of people around the world recognize the importance of a beautiful gift from our wonderful Creator. Its popularity should not be taken lightly!
While many people know it’s important to take care of the environment, some tend to forget or neglect what God’s word tells us about this topic. I think that, just like everything else in our lives, we should be looking at nature through the lens of scripture.
From the beginning, God has called us to take care of the earth. In Genesis 1:26 God told us that we are not only made in His image, but also meant to rule over the earth and everything that lives within it.
If we’re living in a kingdom, we would want the ruler to take care of us and keep us healthy and safe, right?
All of us want to live in a world where we are protected and cared for.
Just as a ruler is meant to be the voice for everyone in their kingdom, including the poor and those who cannot speak for themselves, the same goes for us. We play a big part in taking care of and being the voice for God’s creation.
Alright, before I go any further, I want you to try to guess the name of this song:
“If creation sings Your praises, so will I”
If you guessed So Will I (100 Billion X) by Hillsong Worship then you were right! It’s a song that I’m sure almost all of us could confidently shout at the top of our lungs because we know every word.
I’ve heard this song what feels like one billion times and know all the words, but the song greatly impacted me when I knew exactly what each verse of the song said and meant.
You see, even though I sang
“If the stars were made to worship, so will I
If the mountains bow in reverence, so will I
If the oceans roar Your greatness, so will I
For if everything exists to lift You high, so will I”
I didn’t realize the truth and beauty that lived within these lyrics. Honestly, when I took a second to think about nature worshiping God like this, I was kind of confused. How could things that didn’t have a heartbeat or consciousness worship God?
Then it hit me. Everything in this world was created by God to worship Him in its own unique way. By doing what God has created them to do, stars, mountains, and oceans act as beautiful examples of God’s great glory at work right in front of our eyes.
I love how in Psalm 19:1 David talks about how the heavens declare God’s glory and proclaim the works of His hands. God worked hard to create this beautiful world we call home on this side of heaven, and like David, we should all take a moment to appreciate and learn from it.
If you continue reading Psalm 19 David writes “day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.” (Verse 2). David is writing some pretty powerful stuff right here.
For some of us it’s so easy to overlook nature’s splendor and the knowledge it displays. We become so fixated on what’s going on in our busy lives, that we hardly look around us to admire God’s heavenly creation here on earth.
We’ve all been through seasons where we feel like God isn’t with us. We may have been asking Him to speak to us and guide us, but all we heard and felt was silence. Those are the moments that tend to lead us to doubt who God is. When these things happen to us, instead of trying to search internally, we need to turn our gaze externally.
The trees outside of our house.
The green grass on the side of the road.
The flowers springing up with the touch of sunshine.
The sun rising in the morning and setting in the evening.
All of it points back to Him and His goodness.
If God has taken the time to create earth and everything in it, while also using it countless times throughout scripture to teach us something, then we should be paying close attention.
As we read through the gospels, it’s obvious that Jesus knew how powerful nature was. How do we know this? Just look at The Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13: 1-23, Mark 4:1-20, & Luke 8:4-15), The Parable of the Weeds (Matthew 13:24-43), The Parable of the Mustard Seed (Matthew 13:31-32, Mark 4:30-34, & Luke 13:18-19), The Yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees (Matthew 16:5-12), and The Vine and the Branches (John 15:1-17).
He constantly uses nature as an example to teach others something important!
What about the Old Testament? As we read through the Old Testament, it’s evident that nature isn’t only talked about in Genesis 1. In Job 12:7-10 Job says,
“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.”
You may be thinking… “All of this is great, but how does this concern me?” I’m so glad you asked!
We have been called to take care of God’s creation. Taking care of the earth was mankind’s first job in the garden. God put Adam in the garden to work it and take care of it (Genesis 2:15). Then, when Adam and Eve were banished from the garden, their responsibility was again to tend to the land (Genesis 3:23).
Since the beginning of time, we have been given a responsibility to take care of our home on this side of heaven. It’s time that we steward what God has entrusted us with.
How do we do this? How can we make an impact in a world currently dealing with an environmental crisis?
I believe there are small tangible things that can help the earth in a monumental way, but getting to know creation through the lens of scripture is where we should start. This will help us see God’s creation with new eyes. Whenever we see nature being used in scripture, we should highlight it and dive deep into what God is trying to teach us.
As for other things we can do in our day-to-day lives, here are some tips:
- Cut back on what you’re throwing away, especially food. Our landfills are full of uneaten food. Plus, this saves you money!
- Pick up trash when you see it! You can wash your hands or sanitize after.
- Thrift more. Who doesn’t love a good reason to thrift more and save money while doing it?
The last thing I wanted to talk about is probably the coolest benefit of protecting our environment: it gives us and future generations the opportunity to explore places that are so captivating they take your breath away. I mean, how cool is it that we have the ability to travel to different countries, see new sights, and spread the gospel without having to take month long voyages across the oceans? This is something that Paul would definitely be envious of!
God gifted us a magnificent place to live. We need to get out from behind our phones, desks, etc. and explore it! When we do this, it will inevitably lead us closer to God.
Kaitlin Esper has a burning passion to lead people closer to God through the appreciation and exploration of His beautiful creation. She currently resides in Clermont, FL with her husband and border collie puppy, but is planning on transitioning to full-time RV life this summer to explore the United States. Her blog, Close to Creation, just launched last week and is a space where travel and faith meet. You can find her @closetocreation on Instagram/Twitter and @closetocreationblog on Facebook.