Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heaven!
Praise him for his mighty works; praise his unequaled greatness!
Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord!
Praise the Lord!
My husband and I love the outdoors. Being outside is good for the body, mind, and soul. We have had discussions about how we often feel closest to God while outside. We wonder how anyone could doubt the existence of our wonderful God when:
-Standing in cool, rushing creek water on a hot day.
-Smelling clouds form for a rainstorm.
-Enjoying the view from a mountaintop.
-Standing on the beach observing ocean water slamming to the shore.
-Tasting fresh produce.
-Standing at the rim of the Grand Canyon.
-Holding a newborn baby.
-Catching snowflakes on your tongue.
-Watching the bats chase insects at dusk.
According to Merrriam-Webster.com, the word “sanctuary” is defined as:
- A consecrated place such as a temple, the sacred part of a religious building, the room in which general worship services are held, or a place for worship
- A place of refuge and protection
God wants us to trust in Him and to find our peace and refuge in seeking Him. We should definitely do this on Sunday morning with our fellow believers at church. However, a lot of people seem to either forget or never understand that we also need to do this throughout the week. Find a sanctuary without being in church to be still and know God more; to listen to His voice and accept the peace only He can give. Psalm 91:2 says, “This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.”
For my husband, Bill, one of his favorite sanctuaries is found in a tree stand while deer hunting. Here is Bill’s perspective:
Walking in the woods before the sun rises, I become very aware of myself. There is a blanket of darkness all around me. I can hear my own breathing. I am alone, but I am surrounded by God’s creation. The stars are bright. The moon is shining dim light onto treetops. I see the glare of foreign eyes, and it reminds me that I am small in the broad scheme of God’s creation. As I sit in a tree stand in the raw beauty of the rising sun, the woods begin to come alive with bird songs and scurrying small animals. Every morning’s sky is painted differently. When it is cold, there is sometimes a very red color in the sky. It is easy to feel close to God here and sense His presence. Sitting in a tree stand, God explains the simplicity of life to me: His peace can be found in any setting. The issues and stressors of life melt away. I find myself more able to pray with a deeper level of spirituality within the beauty of the things God created for me to enjoy. Peace. Solitude. Calm. I find joy in sitting in HIs presence here. Words fail to explain as well as I’d like, but I know God speaks to me here. I feel a rush of emotion and gratefulness. I rejoice and praise Him in these moments. I do not have to actually accomplish the harvest of an animal when I go hunting because I enjoy the wonder of sitting in God’s presence. If I do harvest an animal, I am thankful for His provision. He shows us He cares in the smallest of details. This truly is a wonder….
I love the poetic description of a hunter sitting and basking in God’s beautiful presence! So wherever you find yourself this week, remember that God is always near, after all, the Bible does say our body is a temple. Any place can become a sanctuary and a place for personal worship of the One True God. Praise God!
Honor the Lord for the glory of his name.
Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.