What are natural laws?

From Dallas Willard’s Hearing God:

In all these cases, as God spoke the object concerned came into existence–whether in an instant or over a more or less extended period of time does not matter–in the same way that your hand moves in response to your thought and intention. That is the creative power of the word of God.

The word of God–the thought and mind of God–continues its presence in the created universe, upholding it. “Lasting to eternity, your word, Yahweh, unchanging in the heavens: your faithfulness lasts age after age; you founded the earth to endure. Creation is maintained by your rulings, since all things are your servants” (Ps 119:89-91 JB).

What we call natural laws, then, must be regarded as God’s thoughts and intentions as to how the world should run. Because of this, as the Christian philospher and Anglican bishop George Berkeley said long ago, echoing Psalm 19, “God himself speaks every day and in every place to the eyes of all men.” The events in the visible, material world–the unfolding of a rosebud, the germination of a seed, the conception and growth of a child, the evolution of galaxies–constitute a visible language manifesting not only a creative mind, but, as Berkeley continues,

a provident Governor, actually and intimately present, and attentive to all our interests and motions, who watches over our conduct and takes care of our minutest actions and designs throughout the whole course of our lives, informing, admonishing, and directing incessantly, in a most evident and sensible manner.