“Romans 8:22 says that “creation groans for the revealing of the sons and daughters of God.” Nature longs to manifest the Kingdom [of God]. The earth groans for this, wanting to be healed. Even water longs to be walked on again. While I’m not contending for our trying to create an earthly utopia, I am also not discounting the fact that creation is affected by the manifestation of God’s presence upon His people.” (DeCenso, et al., 2009)
One of the unique things about the wilderness is that we can’t physically make it better than it is and keep its nature, its character, alive. I’m not against gardens and arboretums, tree plantings and parks. But whenever we try to create utopia with what God has created, naturally, in the natural world, we take away a part of its identity and put in part of our own instead.
So instead we go out into the “unspoiled” wilderness; the “untouched” mountains, the “virgin” forests to experience creation as God made it.
By being who we are in Christ, who God has created us to be, we bring the presence of God with us when we enter the wilderness. This effects creation not by making it into our own image, but by bringing out in it the image of Christ.
The wilderness is affected when the manifestation of God’s presence is revealed in its midst.
There is something in the nature, the character, of the wilderness that responds when the nature, the character, of its Creator is displayed.
We say we go out to the wilderness because there we find peace; we can “recharge”, have our hearts stilled. Could it be that instead of us finding peace or stillness, actually we, with the presence of God in us, are manifesting God’s presence to the wilderness, and actually bringing the wilderness peace?
Could it be that we, the sons and daughters of God, are being revealed and therefore easing the groaning of the earth? Could the effects on creation of the power and presence of God being manifested in us and through us be the thing that ministers to our hearts and brings us peace?
It’s a bit of a circle: We go out in the power and presence of God, creation reacts to the manifestation, and we reap the benefit by finding peace and stillness in the wilderness.