Summer is finally here! I couldn’t be more excited. There’s just so much to rejoice over like the sunshine, the longer days, the warm weather, camping, bonfires and so much more. It’s the much anticipated season, especially if you live in Alberta, where winter seems to last forever. But every year, I also find myself meeting summer with some reservation. It’s the season where I often stumble in my relationship with the Lord. Small groups often take an intermittent break, summer projects, camping and family adventures often overshadow my quiet time with the Lord and bible studies tend to get overlooked and forgotten. It’s not just a one time occurrence. It happens summer after summer. The saying, It’s just a season, literally holds true in this very situation. So, I’m left pondering how can I better intervene in this season of my life to ensure that my relationship with the Lord doesn’t fall to the wayside?
I came up with the following 4 ways that I hope to implement into my life this summer and hopefully you may find them useful too!
Prayer is key to maintaining a secure and intimate relationship with the Lord. It is how we hear and receive wisdom and guidance from Him. It’s easy to step off track and veer from the path the Lord has laid for us if we are not in constant communication with Him. I often feel distant and disconnected when my prayer life is not an on-going and consistent practice. In the summer months, it’s easy to prioritize other things before prayer. Often times, our routines are thrown out the window during these months as we try to juggle a slew of things, such as, children home from school, house or yard projects and upkeep, camping, BBQ’s, vacations, family outings and more. What I realized though, while doing my own yard upkeep was that I can use this time to step-up my prayer life. I had to stain my fence this summer. It’s been on our to-do list since last year but the weather just didn’t work out for us. So when we finally had some perfect summer days, I went outside to stain from morning until night. I realized my mind had a lot of time to wander and ponder absolutely random things of little importance, when it clicked that this was the prime time to speak to God. I simply started praying over my husband and my children and continued to pray over anyone who came to mind. I spent the next 45 minutes in prayer with the Lord that otherwise would have been wasted on pointless thought. I’d like to encourage you to take some time to think how can you incorporate prayer into your summer plans. It can be as simple as praying while driving to your destination, preparing food for a BBQ, cleaning out a camper, sunbathing on the beach. Simply finding ways to sneak in some time of prayer with the Lord daily will keep you secure on the right footing and keeps the enemy at bay.
Memorizing Scripture is something that most people want to do, but often struggle to find the time to do it. Summer is a great opportunity to focus solely on memorizing Scripture since other things are on halt. Memorizing Scripture is an invaluable practice because it is one of the key weapons against the enemy. If we know God’s Word and keep it in our hearts, we can wield it like a sword against the enemy’s attacks. Memorizing Scripture can be as simple as choosing 8-10 passages and scheduling to memorize one a week. Some tricks to help memorize Scripture that have helped me are:
- using actions to help remember key words,
- writing the passage on post it notes and placing it somewhere I frequently see it, and
- quoting the passage of Scripture in your prayers.
The best part is that by the end of the summer you will have an arsenal of Scripture readily available to you as you embark on the season ahead.
Audio Sermons or Books of the Bible
The summer is often a time where people travel quite a bit, whether travelling for camping, fun outings, visiting family, or wherever else your summer plans lead you, but this is a wonderful opportunity to soak in God’s word. Purchasing or downloading audio sermons or books of the Bible can help pass the time on a long trip, stir up encouraging and intriguing conversation and deepen your understanding of God’s Word. If you are travelling with children, Adventures in Odyssey is a fun family audio that everyone is sure to enjoy!
When small group takes a break for the summer months, it’s easy to put aside the Bible study, but I’d encourage you to find an accountability partner who is also eager and looking to study God’s word through the summer months. Summer does make it more challenging to be consistent to meet up and discuss, but grace is key in these moments. Line up a phone chat or a coffee get together as often as possible. It may not be every week, but even every couple of weeks to discuss what you’ve been studying and learning is invaluable. It keeps you in God’s word and delving deeper. I’d encourage choosing a shorter study that grants you the opportunity to miss a week here and there, or offers an every other day schedule. Some Bible studies may be less book work intensive and more reflective questioning. Choose something that works for both you and your partner. The key is to stay in God’s Word rather than abandoning it completely.
My greatest desire is that no matter the season of life you are in, you can maintain a secure and intimate relationship with the Lord. By identifying your areas of weakness and your struggles, you can implement ways to steer clear of complacency and neglect. In doing so, you protect yourself from the enemy’s attacks and equip yourself for the season ahead. There will always be different seasons in your life, but it doesn’t mean you need to be thrown off balance. I pray the Lord will lead and guide you through whatever season of life you are in right now.
SHARE: What have you found most beneficial to maintaining a secure and intimate relationship with the Lord during a difficult season of life?