Communing with God on a Winter Hiking Trail

December 13, 2023
Jay Swieringa

Hiking is one of my favorite activities, one that I find helps me to slow down and experience the goodness and majesty of our Creator. This Advent season, I thought I would share a brief devotional guide that I hope will help you connect with God the next time you choose to embark on a winter hike through His creation.

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As you lace up your hiking boots and venture into the great outdoors, use this time to embrace the beauty of your surroundings. The crisp winter air, the crunch of snow beneath your feet, and the serenity of nature can serve as a sacred backdrop for reflecting on the goodness of God. As you set out on this hike, let the wonders of God’s creation guide you to a deeper connection with Him. Meditate on Psalm 19:1 – “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.”

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.”
Psalm 19:1

Spend a moment taking in the atmosphere around you– the silent snow, the evergreen trees, the stars, and the companionship of those who have joined you on this outing. Then, say a prayer in your heart asking God to speak to you through these things.

The Silence of the Snow: Pause for a moment and listen to the hushed melody of nature. The snow-covered landscape invites you into a quiet world, mirroring the peace that Jesus brings into our lives. As you walk, reflect on the silence, and let it remind you of the still, small voice of God.

Prayer: Lord, in the hush of this snowy trail, speak to my heart with your gentle whispers. May the quiet beauty of nature remind me of the peace that Christ offers.

Evergreen Lessons: As you pass by evergreen trees, consider the symbolism of their enduring foliage. In the midst of winter’s dormancy, they stand resilient and unyielding. Reflect on the eternal nature of God’s love and the hope found in Jesus, who is always with us.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, like these evergreen trees, may my faith remain unwavering through every season of life. Thank you for the constant presence of your Son, Jesus.

The Stars Above: Lift your eyes to the sky and marvel at the stars overhead, even if not visible because of light or clouds. Just as the Star of Bethlehem guided the wisemen to Jesus, allow the stars that you know are there to lead your thoughts to the divine Light that entered the world.

Prayer: Lord, illuminate my path with the light of your presence. Like the wisemen of old, may I be led to a deeper understanding of your love through the heavenly signs around me.

The Warmth of Fellowship: If you’re hiking with others, take a moment to appreciate the warmth of their companionship. Recall the importance of community and fellowship during the Christmas season. Share stories, laughter, and prayers as you walk together.

Prayer: Gracious God, thank you for the gift of companionship. May our shared journey deepen our bonds and reflect the warmth of your love this Christmas.

As you conclude your hike, carry the hope, love, peace, and joy experienced on the trail into the Christmas season. Let this outdoor adventure be a reminder that the Creator of the universe is intimately involved in your life. May this Christmas devotional be a steppingstone to a more profound connection with God as you celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the ultimate gift of love.

About The Author

Jay Swieringa

Jay Swieringa is Browncroft’s Congregational Care Director. He is passionate about serving the people in our church and their loved ones well by helping to meet their physical and emotional needs. In his spare time, Jay enjoys outdoor activities and spending time with his family.

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