I’ve been thinking a lot about seasons in life. A lot of us have experienced a tough year whether you have gone through the stripping away seasons of fall, or experienced the hardships of winter; God walking with us through the trials of life through sickness and bareness of the soul, or maybe you’ve been in the midst of work and of planting and praying that comes in the season of spring. I want to talk to you today about the season of Summer because rarely do we talk about this season of the soul. Maybe because we are so busy just enjoying it, but Summer is the season of hope, of actually eating the fruit we’ve laboured for, of enjoyment and rest. Does it fit with your theology, your picture of God, that He would create a season just for rest and joy?
Do we recognize when we are in summer?
I live in the north so our summers are beautiful but they are also short. If one doesn’t take the time to stop and rest and enjoy summer is here today turning to chilly breezes and falling leaves the next.
If you turn on the news these days it can be overwhelming. There is this tangible ache that we need healing, we need rain, we need refreshing and we need hope. There is so much hurt right now in the earth and you can feel it groaning like it’s ready to break but the promise in God’s word does not say that it will break. We need to be aware that as followers of Jesus’ words that even when it looks like and feels like it all might break apart, He promises,
‘A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick He will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice.’ Isaiah 42:3 NIV
I am feeling the need personally to lift my head during this season and sing a song to the world out of place of a deep knowledge that God is STILL good. The world has been through trouble before and Jesus said that in this world you will have trouble BUT I HAVE overcome the world. If your soul is a little downcast, I want you to know that He’s got this! HE really does! There is no hurt right now that He doesn’t know, there is nothing that is causing God to be alarmed or to freak out. And, I believe, that He’s whispering in this summer season – ‘O taste and see that the LORD is good.’ (Psalm 34:8).
He is so good to us and this season of rest needs to be felt deeply in our souls so that we can carry His message of hope to the world during the season that is coming. So, as we sit in these summer months in the sun and cut into a cold watermelon and taste the flavours that only come with summer, and as we dip our feet in cool waters and watch our little ones play and experience joy, let’s remember that God is good. Because the one caution of the season of summer is that we do not acknowledge God IN it and that we do not remember Him and give thanks to Him for the joy that we experience in this season. Church, we need to sing now during the season of singing because if our hurting world ever needed a song of hope, it’s now.
When the nation of Israel was leaving its years of captivity in Egypt and wanderings of the dessert to enter the promise land Moses gave them this charge. You can read in Deuteronomy 6 that firstly they were talk about God and remember his goodness actively in their homes; that they were to teach their children the ways of God. Moms, this was a reminder to me to draw my kids closer into Jesus this summer. To remind them that all this fun is a benefit of His goodness towards our family and to acknowledge Jesus in the middle of our rest and fun. The people of Israel were also given this charge and this caution.
When the Lord your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
The word to us is simple – REMEMBER the Lord. Don’t get so distracted by all the recreation and rest that we forget the giver of rest, the Lord of the Sabbath.
Finally for the woman who has an empathetic and intercessory gifting, who feels called to prayer and is more easily affected by the darkness around her in the world, right now, take a moment to lift your head. I want you to know that I can relate. I also get easily pulled into the weight of what is going on around me. When there is hurt, sickness and sorrow I can easily get pulled right into those feelings. It’s part of the journey of an intercessor getting pulled into God’s heart in prayer but WHEN he comes and whispers to you to look up, to rest, to focus on His goodness – obey and stop and sing in the season of singing.
I’ve been feeling overwhelmed lately; not just by what is going on in the news but also because we are preparing for the birth of our fifth child and I’m just plain nervous about labor and delivery. I’m having that reality sink in of what I have to go through still in order to actually hold my baby and that the process can literally start any time now over the next 4 weeks and it’s causing me to act… stressy (no computer, do not auto correct. I’m making up a word -‘stressy) and I just felt the LORD come and whisper, ‘What is coming is not a bad thing. This season is my goodness towards you and your family. This is a season of joy. It’s summer and you need to stop and just enjoy it and don’t let anxiety rob from your rest.’
So if that is you today in any way, if anxiety is robbing from your rest I just encourage you to take some time to renew your mind. To stop and write down the things the Lord is saying to you or journal some scriptures about the rest of God and ‘sing’ those things over yourself and take some time to actively enter into the promises of God and wrap yourself up in His goodness. God really is for you and your family and He is speaking life over you right now.
My beloved spoke and said to me,
“Arise, my darling,
my beautiful one, come with me.
See! The winter is past;
the rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
is heard in our land.
The fig tree forms its early fruit;
the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
Arise, come, my darling;
my beautiful one, come with me.”
~Song of Songs 2:10-13