During this beautiful fall season, I've been thinking about what it means to praise the Creator of this beauty.
I used to think that when I saw something -- mountains, a waterfall, a sunset, some glorious piece of creation -- that I was wrong or in some way "cheating" God if I didn't spout off some eloquent words of praise in my heart. God deserves glory for His creation, right? The Bible says that He has revealed Himself to us through creation (Romans 1:19-20, Psalm 19:1). I thought, if He has made this for me to live in and to see, and if He uses it to show me Himself, then it is my responsibility to give Him proper praise for it.
But in the last few months, I've begun to realize that my simple enjoyment and awe of God's creation, the joy and wonder it stirs in my heart, is praise enough.
God is our Father. Think about it....parents love to see their children USING and ENJOYING the gifts they give them. Right? It would be disappointing for a mom or dad to give their child a gift, only for the child to toss it aside, take it for granted, and never enjoy it. But when they see their child playing with that toy, wearing that outfit, driving that car, or whatever it may be, and finding delight in it, it makes the parent happy and feel that their gift is appreciated.
So when I see something awe-inspiring in God's creation, it's okay if I don't have any elaborate words of praise to say, or any amazing conclusions to draw (like, "God this shows me that you are...."). It's totally okay if I do, and I'm sure He loves that, too! Maybe a Bible verse like "When I consider the heavens, the work of Your fingers..." might come to mind, or I might start singing a song about God's love being deeper than the ocean. Awesome! But it's also okay when nothing like that comes to mind. Because I've come to believe that God loves to see my heart finding delight in what He has created.
And these are beautiful moments...
Being speechless over a gorgeous sunset.
Looking at a sky full of stars, wondering at how many there are.
Smiling when I see my beloved mountains appear on the horizon.
Breathing in fresh, clean air and laughing at the wind in my face.
Watching the snow fall in child-like wonder.
This is my heart wondering and rejoicing at my surroundings, at what my awesome Creator God has made with His hands. Maybe I have prayers of praise and Scripture in response, but if not, no need to force it. Maybe I simply say, "God, You're awesome." Maybe I take a photo of it, or point it out to a friend, or just take a moment to breathe it in and savor it. Whatever the response, I think our Father is pleased to see us delight in His gift of creation.