I was doing some research for an assignment today and I found a very interesting study on how being in nature benefits our mental health. It turns out that “contact with nature affects numerous facets of a person’s physical, mental and social life such as: reducing anger, frustration and aggression (Groeneweggen et al. 2006). Increasing a sense of belonging and acceptance. A range of other aspects including socialisation, mobility, mental stimulation, touch, physiological benefits, and the fulfilment of basic needs such as love, respect, usefulness, trust, self-worth and nurturing (Nebbe 2006; O’Brien 2005b).
David being lead beside still waters.
Jesus running out into the wilderness to pray.
Why is this even important? Because:
“In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.” (Psalm 95:4-5) “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” (Psalm 91:1)
Because: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…and it was good. (Genesis 1:1)
I was out walking today (in nature, ironically) and this all came to me.
Why does being in nature affect us in this way?
Could it be that God’s glory is so evident – that it give us peace? His sovereignty is so alive that we feel the safety of a Leader. His hand so deep in the oceans, his other hand so high above the peaks of the mountains – that our worries and stress dissolve in his enormity. We are taken over by His glory of nature, that we can’t help but focus on something more.
Perhaps, we are reminded of the Garden. That perfect place, the essence of shalom, the perfect harmony of God and his creation.
Perhaps we feel so much better in nature, because we find God there.
Grace and Peace,