The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above1 proclaims his handiwork.
In a justly famous lecture to those training for the pastorate, Charles Spurgeon—who suffered from at-times debilitating depression—commended the glory of God in creation as a remedy:
Let a man be naturally as blithe as a bird, he will hardly be able to bear up year after year against such a suicidal process; he will make his study a prison and his books the warders of a gaol, while nature lies outside his window calling him to health and beckoning him to joy.
He who forgets the humming of the bees among the heather, the cooing of the wood-pigeons in the forest, the song of birds in the woods, the rippling of rills among the rushes, and the sighing of the wind among the pines, needs not wonder if his heart forgets to sing and his soul grows heavy.
A day’s breathing of fresh air upon the hills, or a few hours, ramble in the beech woods? umbrageous calm, would sweep the cobwebs out of the brain of scores of our toiling ministers who are now but half alive.
A mouthful of sea air, or a stiff walk in the wind’s face, would not give grace to the soul, but it would yield oxygen to the body, which is next best. . . .
The ferns and the rabbits, the streams and the trouts, the fir trees and the squirrels, the primroses and the violets, the farm-yard, the new-mown hay, and the fragrant hops—these are the best medicine for hypochondriacs, the surest tonics for the declining, the best refreshments for the weary.
This applies not only to a sense of depression and dread and despondency, but also to our battle for purity of mind and heart.
Listen to John Piper:
Do you know why there are no windows on adult book stores? Or do you know why there are no windows on certain kinds of nightclubs in the city?
I suppose your answer would be, “Well, because they don’t want people looking in and getting a free sight.”
That is not the only reason.
You know why? Because they don’t want people looking out at the sky. You know why? The sky is the enemy of lust. I just ask you to think back on your struggles. The sky is a great power against lust. Pure, lovely, wholesome, powerful, large-hearted things cannot abide the soul of a sexual fantasy at the same time.