Hearing God Through Nature

Hearing God Through Nature wendylmacdonald.com

Welcome to Hearing God through Nature part 2 in the Hearing God series

An unusual bird showed up at our birdfeeder during a wintery cold snap. Before I share which bird it was, let’s talk about some other wildlife first. Each winter I look forward to photographing the most beautiful flying flowers of the winter season: trumpeter swans. They migrate to the Comox Valley each autumn to overwinter. Our valley has lakes, ponds, rivers, and the ocean for them to feed from and rest on. We also have a huge host of farm fields that often have large puddles on them during the rainy season.

When a colder than usual cold snap arrived and turned our local precipitation into a foot of fallen snow, I worried about the swans. Where would they rest? What would they eat? Would they stay warm enough?

My car doors froze shut that week. It didn’t bother me much since I don’t like driving in the snow. My husband, on the other hand, isn’t the least bit afraid of winter driving conditions. He tackles it with the perfect balance of caution and confidence. So, when he invited me to go with him on a drive to pick up an item he bought, my hesitation was short-lived.

“It’s too beautiful out there to stay home,” he said. “Bring your camera.”

Remembering that the swans had resorted to hanging out on the ocean the last time a cold snap buried the fields under snow, I said, “Yes.”

Hearing God Through Nature wendylmacdonald.com

Sure enough, the swans had flocked to the park where our local rivers and ocean meet. How lovely. They floated like mini-icebergs in the winter sunshine. Tears came to my eyes while my nearly frozen fingers clicked photograph after photograph of the stunning trumpeters. It touched me that God provided for the swans as surely as my husband had provided me with a lovely outing that day.

To be like the birds and live one day at a time means we don’t worry about tomorrow’s dinner. It means we don’t worry about whether we have enough courage to face the winter seasons of the soul. Being brave doesn’t mean we face each day with a detailed schedule of how to deal with it. It means we embrace each moment fully so that we’re not drained of the power to meet the minutes that follow.

Hearing God Through Nature wendylmacdonald.com

When we wait on the Lord moment by moment, it means we trust Him in the present. We stay alert and alive to each beautiful second. We take heart in His strength and lean into His power for our courage to bravely face whatever we’re facing. Or will face.

We trip our confidence in Christ when we’re frantic to understand all the details of our life.

It’s best when we strive to trust God because understanding doesn’t always arrive. But the courage to face life is already available to us when wait upon the Lord.

Our security isn’t found in the status quo. It’s found in trusting the God who knows. #Bible #devotional Click To Tweet

Like the swans, we may need to settle in a different location. But God will be with us because… He never leaves us.

Sadly, I’ve spent much of my life detesting change. If I detect a change in the air, fear causes me to freeze up like a cornfield in January. Nothing beautiful can sprout from ice. It would be better if I were an ocean. Salted with faith, trust, and courage, I would flow with whatever the seasons showered. I would dance with the wind. And I would provide refuge for other sojourners who also realize that faith isn’t about living a static life. It’s about living with an ecstatic faith. Jesus is our Provider, Guider, and Leader. He leads survivors through the toughest storms.

He can overturn a ruling against us or turn it into an opportunity to magnify His name through us.

He can overturn a ruling against us or turn it into an opportunity to magnify His name through us. #faith #memoir Click To Tweet

A few days later my daughter asked me what the beautiful birds at our feeder were. The black, orange, and white lovelies feasted amidst our usual dinner guests of nuthatches, chickadees, and towhees.

Hearing God Through Nature wendylmacdonald.com

“They’re called varied thrushes,” I said. “Each winter they show up. Especially when we have snow. I’ve taken pictures of them before.”

If our dining room window didn’t have stickers and fingerprints on them from a beloved grandson, I may have taken additional photographs. But I was content. My heart was full of all the fun I had playing hide and seek with little guy the day before. The stickers and pictures, like cobwebs, could wait, because living in and enjoying the moment can’t.

Like the varied thrushes and trumpeter swans, we stop and feast on whatever God presents us within the present because anything else we need will arrive when the time is ripe. Today is filled with plenty and it’s foolish to spoil it with fears tomorrow’s feeder may be empty.

In nature I hear the following Bible verse sung over me:

Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD.
Psalm 27:14 NIV

Hearing God Through Nature wendylmacdonald.com

I hope this post blessed you. I wrote it during a dark day when fear was having a hay day with my faith. But the Scripture verse, Psalm 27:14, hangs on my bedroom mirror reminding me not to fear change. God nudged me to read it. Repeatedly. And so, I did. Meditating on His Word brings calming medication to troubled souls. It’s one prescription I highly recommend. It’s free too. And it’s also free from negative side effects.

It is well with my soul when I make trusting God—rather than understanding all of life—my goal. #christianliving #naturephotography Click To Tweet We don’t need to fear change if we keep our faith in the Unchanging One. #creation #inspirational Click To Tweet

And now I’d like to close with a poem:

God sings confidence
over me
To trust the way
He meets our needs
God sings security
Over me
To trust indeed
That we are seen.
~ wlm

Hearing God Through Nature wendylmacdonald.com

 

Seen and heard by the King blessings ~ Wendy Mac

P.S. I’m nosy-to-know: Have you recently heard God through nature?

 

10 thoughts on “Hearing God Through Nature

  1. I love how you used nature and meshed it with the Spiritual life, Wendy. And your paragraph about detesting change spoke to me. Change is hard. The storms of life are hard but like you said at the end of that paragraph, “He leads survivors through the toughest storm.” Blessings to you and yours!

  2. Such an encouraging and inspirational write, Wendy. Your words are so succinct and really much needed. Thank you for sharing as the Lord leads you. 🙏❤️💐

  3. This is beautiful, Wendy. Thank you, this post has inspired me to go take a walk. I don’t have a “recent” story to share because I’m at the peak of my busy season with work. There’s a little time left before sunset and I always feel a calm assurance when I walk and commune with God in nature. God bless you.

  4. I certainly am affected by nature, however, I have come to the place where I know wherever I am, God is there. God makes each of us the temple of God, as Paul describes it, and so in the city, multi-lane highway, quiet woods, with wildlife or empty, in my gardens or the mall, God speaks. As Jesus put it, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” This does not denigrate your words or your story, which always inspire, but invites us to even more.
    Peace

    1. Thank you, my friend, for words so true. God can turn an elevator or a car into a bonding-with-the-Lord room. One of my favorite praise and worship times happened in a boring hospital room. Yes, wherever believers are, God is present to present us with communion with Love–Himself.
      Christ followers are blessed in that we don’t have to make a special or long journey to fellowship with Jesus. 🙂
      Blessings, dear brother.

      1. True, Wendy. I once had a personal retreat for a couple of days in a cheap ($50/night) hotel room! With all the niceties stripped away, I could focus on the Lord, and it was beautiful.
        On the other extreme, what beautiful creatures swans are. <3 I'm glad you went along and took your camera. 🙂
        Blessings,
        Annie

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