Hearing God through Nature
How can God speak to us through natural items?
God uses lots of imagery in the Bible, likening Himself or His people to natural things.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 says
“But blessed is the one who trustsin theLord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
Jesus often used imagery too to speak to people, sometimes in parables but also with symbolism, or likening situations, people or himself to things people could understand, like nature.
John 15:5 Jesus said
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
Go on a nature treasure hunt - Collect conkers, leaves, pinecones, acorns, fruit, petals, leaves. If you can’t get out because it’s raining, print out some pictures.
Do this activity in the park or head home and put your collection of natural items (or pictures) out on the table.
Call it your Nature Table.
Touch the objects, feel their textures, smell them, notice their shapes and their colours. Use your senses to thank God for his creation, or while you admire the pictures.
Ask your cubs these questions around the Nature table:
- Which items remind you of what God is like (or not like)?
Help them if they get stuck with ideas. e.g. He is gentle and tender with us like a smooth conker. He doesn't change or die like the leaves but he is colourful like them. He loves our differences. Jesus didn't stay dead like the dying plants, but he came back to life.
- Pick an Object/Picture. Hold it, look at it, then close your eyes and ask God who you could give it to, a friend, a neighbour. When you think of someone ask Holy Spirit why do you want them to have it? What is it you want to say to them? He might want to encourage who they are or what he has done for them, or how he loves them using the object. If you can go deliver your piece of treasure to your person! Practice how you will explain why you’re giving your gift.
Prophesy using God’s natural objects.
1 Corinthians 14:3 - But one who prophesies strengthens others, encourages them, and comforts them
- Pick someone round the table (or it can be someone else that you think of) - And then choose an object (you’re just switching the order of what comes to mind first) and ask Holy Spirit “Holy Spirit how is this person like this item?” Repeat the same exercise above but do it face to face (or write it down). Keep it clear and easy to understand and make sure it's encouraging, comforting or strengthening.
- Pick an object from the table and draw it. Ask God while you’re drawing what He wants to say to you or someone else, through this object.
- Close your eyes and imagine Jesus holding the object, ask Him what He is showing you and saying to you. Now draw a picture of what you saw.
The questions may be more suited for 8+ but I always like to introduce ideas and discussions like these to my little ones. I have had these discussions with my cubs when they’re little (currently 4&6) and the imagery works well for him. Use it as a teaching opportunity if they can't answer themselves. You're encouraging them to see God's reflection in his creation.ave fun, build confidence and celebrate the little steps!