SUMMER! The season for fun in the sun, rest and relaxation, joy and refreshment. The season when kids are home. All day long. Family vacations. Extra time with extended family. Lots of togetherness. Not a lot of routine.
I want summer to last forever.
On the other hand, I’m kind of worn out from all this togetherness, partied out by all the fun. By this time in the summer I am feeling less like a summer sun goddess and more like a shriveled little tree. Especially in this post-July 4th Nebraska week, after so many fireworks-full (sleep-deprived) nights.
So I look to one of my favorite passages in the Bible for help and hope.
Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind and makes flesh his strength, And whose heart turns away from the Lord.
For he will be like a bush in the desert and will not see when prosperity comes, But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness, A land of salt without inhabitant.
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord And whose trust is the Lord.
For he will be like a tree planted by the water, That extends its roots by a stream And will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought Nor cease to yield fruit. (Jeremiah 17:5-8)
I don’t’ know where summer finds you today. Maybe it has been one bright adventure after another, with plenty of rest.
But I imagine at least a few of you feel like I do on this mid-summer day: Tired. Worn out. Maybe feeling a bit like this bush, deserty, like you live in a stony and salty wasteland, alone.
In this tired, dry place I am inviting myself to remember where I’m planted. And I want to invite you to remember as well. To remember where we’re planted, and to remember where our trust lies.
This passage tells the truth about me: When I am feeling stony and desert-y, it’s almost always because my trust has seeped away from my only trustworthy source of strength and sustenance.
I find it so easy to trust in mankind, to depend on my own ability to fix or help people, to think I need to manage outcomes. This wears me out quickly. And it makes parenting in particular and life in general so exhausting.
Even in the summer, when things are supposed to be light and easy: If I’m carrying every burden on my own shoulders, trusting in my own strength, I end up dry and dusty.
It is so easy to forget to put my roots down deep into God.
I forget to TRUST.
We are believing trees, planted right by the streams of living water. And daily we can choose to trust the Lord and put our roots down deep.
So today, if you are energized and ready for the second half of summer… Or if you are tired and feeling salty and stony: I hope you remember we have no reason to fear heat, no reason for anxiety in a year of drought. We all get to put our roots down deep.
For me, that looks like reminding myself of truth:
God is with me, and God is with you. He has already provided all that we need for life and godliness, we have ALL we need in Jesus.
My hope and trust is in GOD, not in a certain outcome, and not in my own or anyone else’s abilities or strengths.
And it looks like taking (or making) time for silence and solitude, pouring out my heart to God, listening for His encouraging reminder that He is WITH me.
Blessed is the man who trusts God, the woman who sticks with God. They’re like trees replanted in Eden, putting down roots near the rivers—Never a worry through the hottest of summers, never dropping a leaf, Serene and calm through droughts, bearing fresh fruit every season. (Jeremiah 17:7-8, The Message)
Never a worry, through the hottest of summers. I think I’ll stick with God. How about you?
This post first appeared on the EquipHer blog (that’s the women’s ministry I serve with!), as part of their summer guest post series, “Thrive!”. My fellow guest posters have been hitting it out of the park, check out the whole series!