Wednesday, March 20, 2019

The Nature of God

  Through the many harmonies of nature we are constantly 
being refreshed, renewed and reborn.
  It is an avenue, a conduit, God uses for our continual
 healing, personal growth and forward motion in life.
 As I stood at my kitchen sink early this morning,
looking out at a familiar scene that has given me
 great comfort for over thirty years now, 
my heart quickened and I was lost in a reverie of pure joy.
For there in the distance, across the yards to the back of me,
standing with great majesty in the hazy sky, 
are a pair of old trees I've known and loved for years.
I've watched each season change their crowning glory
 all these decades, and today they have signaled to me, 
even through the gloom that cloaked them like a shroud,
 that Spring is about to touch my weary and thirsty soul again.
I was so happy to see that these lovely old trees are clothed
 all over once again with a sprinkling of tiny buds of red.
Immediately the Psalms rose up in me...
"O clap your hands, all peoples; 
Shout to God with the voice of joy." Psalm 47:1
"Let the field exult, and all that is in it,
Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy..." Psalm 96:12
And so the cycle begins again. Freshness, newness and rebirth.
I am clapping my hands and singing, along with the trees,
in a joyful voice to God with great thankfulness.
I am reminded, even in the cool grey dampness of a March day,
 that God has His hand on everything and just as the new dawn
                                    of yet another Springtime is gently starting to unfurl, 
He will always lead us out of the wintertime of our souls. 
"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." Psalm 147:3 
If you have woundedness, loneliness, brokenness or despair of any kind, 
take the time to listen to nature and you will hear the voice of God.
He speaks to us in the rustle of the pines, the chatter of the squirrels,
the ebb and flow of the seasons, the hush of a new fallen snow,
 and the soft stillness of a moonlit night.
 He calls to us, He teaches us, He loves us beyond measure.
His ways are not our ways. We spend our days caught up in worry.
He offers salvation, hope, restoration and peace.
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.
Not as the world gives do I give to you. 
Let not your hearts be troubled,
 neither let them be afraid."
John 14:27
God created so many things in the natural world to
benefit our hearts, spirits and souls, if we would just take time
to slow down and observe and absorb His presence all around us.
In perfect stillness I watch a hawk gliding through the sky.
What utter grace and beauty and peace.
Then it hits me afresh...
God's Word says I am even more valuable
than this glorious creature. I am humbled anew.
But there's more to that portion of scripture. 
He is also using the birds of the air to teach us not to worry.
{Matthew 6:26}
He wants us to look to nature and see Him; fully know Him.
Through the trees he tells us, though the branches are barren for a season,
He breathes new life into them as they continue to reach up to Him.
He shows us that, as the clouds turn from ominous grey to billowy white,
they roll away and reveal a bright blue sky that is fresh and new and clean.
These elements of earth and nature are our examples. 
They were designed for a purpose by a Father who loves us.
"But ask the animals and they will teach you, 
or the birds in the sky,
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."
Job 12:7-10

We all have unique ways that God speaks to us through nature.
I would like to encourage you to seek quiet new ways
 to meet Him in this vast, glorious world He has given us.
You just might be amazed at what it will do for you.
Sometimes it brings poetry out of me so fast I have to 
capture it with pen and paper before it fly's away forever.
I'll leave you with a recent example and a hope
 that you will begin to touch the heart of God 
in new and deep ways in the days ahead.



There will be peace
In the valley of my soul
As it reaches toward that place
Of beauty and wonder once more.

My heedless heart wanders;
Restless to the core,
As it seeks verdant hills,
Holding memories from distant shores.

I stand open, trembling and free.
Your breath whispers in soft breezes
Of pine needles blowing
Over, under and all around me.

My eyes cling to barren trees,
Reaching, clawing in their nakedness
Through winter's forsaken sky,
Pleading in their supplication.

We search this world together,
Longing for our healing touch.
Till evening cloaks us both in softness
And blackness hovers all around.

Finally you find me in the darkness,
Weaving stars throughout my hair.
Stars of hope eternal
And love that knows no end.

You cover me in moonglow.
How very like you to blanket me
With the brightness of your glory
In the Winter of my soul.

Danette Bartelmay
February 2019


  1. Such a beautiful post Danette. I feel God's presence the most when I am out with nature, looking at trees so tall and beautiful to the tiniest of bugs and flowers.

    1. Thank you Meredith. I know what you mean. I have always been the same way. From clouds and trees to flowers, squirrels and bugs. I just feel God all around me.


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