To whom can you compare God? What image can you find to resemble him? Isaiah 40:18 (NLT)
Though He is the invisible, infinite God, the Lord has revealed Himself in many ways throughout the course of history, including through Jesus, the scriptures and creation itself.
With summer fast approaching, seniors of faith have the opportunity to see firsthand many examples of God's character and be in the abundance of nature the season brings. Here are just a few tips for how seniors can find God in creation this summer.
Counting the stars is an appealing pastime during the summer. Nights are warm and filled with the sounds of insects, frogs and birds, which have been a familiar concert for many seniors since their childhood.
Binoculars or a small telescope can add to the fun, but there are several constellations visible without magnification in the northern hemisphere. Star maps and meteor shower guides are readily available on the internet, making it even easier for seniors to locate specific stars or constellations.
The Bible frequently refers to the stars. This gives believers a wide range of topics and promises they can study as they look at the heavenly objects such as Psalms 8:3-4, Psalms 19:1-4, Isaiah 40:26-28 and Job 9:7-10.
The flowers are springing up, the season of singing birds has come, and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air. Song of Songs 2:12 (NLT)
Several passages that mention birds are among the most well-known and beloved sections of the Bible, including Matthew 6:26 and Matthew 10:29 which inspired the song His Eye Is On The Sparrow.
Birdwatching can be an engaging way to connect experiences in our lives to our Biblical studies of these passages. Seniors can get started by simply looking around their assisted living apartments for birds in the nearby trees and landscaping.
Another place to look for new feathered friends is in city parks and nature preserves. Many of these locations have information about the types of species that have been spotted around the walking trails in the area and some parks host scheduled birdwatching tours.
So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Galatians 6:9 (NLT)
The Bible shows us that God has been gardening since He first created the world (Genesis 2:8) and that the first man ever to live was a gardener as well (Genesis 2:15).
Jesus also uses garden themes in His teachings, such as the story of the vine and the branches (John 15:1-17) and several parables, including the sower (Matthew 13:1-23), the mustard seed (Luke 13:19), the growing seed (Mark 4:26-29) and the wheat and the tares (Matthew 13:24-43).
Gardening offers seniors numerous benefits. In addition to the increased physical activity and exercise individuals experience when gardening, studies have proven that working the soil and caring for plants have mental and emotional bonuses too.
Gardeners are frequently found to be happier with lower levels of stress, and seniors don't have to plant a huge garden to enjoy these benefits. Gardens are easy to personalize and can take the form of community beds, window boxes and container gardens.
Seniors in many of our Bethesda Senior Living communities have formed walking clubs and regularly meet for strolls around our campuses. These scheduled activities give individuals the opportunity to exercise and converse with their neighbors, but they aren't the only way that seniors can enjoy walking this summer.
Long walks give seniors plenty of time to pray and think. These quiet moments are ideal for working through stresses and seeking guidance for any upcoming decisions.
Strolls also make good study times. Seniors can take along a portable audio player and listen to sermons, worship music and audio Bibles as they get in their desired number of steps each day.
Seniors can also carry a Bible or devotional to read during rests on the furniture placed along the walking paths. Here are a few verses in the NLT Bible seniors might find interesting to meditate on during walks:
• I will walk among you; I will be your God, and you will be my people. Leviticus 26:12
• Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left. Isaiah 30:21
• And so I walk in the LORD’s presence as I live here on earth! Psalms 116:9
• For you have rescued me from death; you have kept my feet from slipping. So now I can walk in your presence, O God, in your life-giving light. Psalms 56:13