Ah, summer. It’s finally here! What are your hopes for the summer? Road trip to the coast? A staycation? Or maybe you’re counting down the days to Camp Elim. Summer holds such possibility for us – the chance to rest in the sunshine and explore new rhythms of play and delight.
I personally love spending time in my garden in the summer. Witnessing the resilience of my plants as they burst through the ground and stretch towards the sky always surprises me after a long hard winter. I love getting my hands in the soil, pulling weeds, and sitting back to enjoy the sweet fragrances and interweaving colors sprinkled throughout my yard.
I could spend endless summer days in my garden, tending to blooms and watching the progress of my bell peppers. When I stop and think about it, I’m most drawn to the peaceful beauty and sense of renewal that I find in my garden. My soul craves these things in the deepest of ways.
Time spent planting, pruning and watering is simply a reflection of my truest longing – vibrant restoration and peace drenched in beauty. That is what I’m after. It’s not really about my peonies (although I do love them); it’s about my longing for peace and restoration.
To go one step further, God takes my desire for restoration and peace and he uses it to draw me deeper into the renewal and rest that he alone can provide. When I awaken to this reality – that God actually wants to fulfill the longings of my heart through a deeper connection with him – my heart can find true rest and satisfaction in a way that a garden cannot actually provide.
What about you? When you think about all that this summer has to offer you, what do you most gravitate toward? How does that meet a deep desire in your heart? Once you identify something, consider how God might fulfill that desire in a way that nothing else truly can.
Whatever it might be – spending time with your family, traveling and exploring wild places, reading good books, eating delicious meals on the back porch – they are all an echo of your truest desire, which God wants to meet you in if you’ll invite him. All of our longing for rest and fun in the summer is simply a reflection of what our hearts truly long for in Jesus and what he can (and will!) infill our hearts with – his love, peace, joy, restoration, and the fullness of all goodness connected to his Kingdom.
If any of this sounds too touchy-feely for you, consider that this is actually part of how we keep idols from taking over our lives. We don’t keep them at bay by white-knuckling it but by looking at why we long to engage with the idol in the first place and then taking that desire to God so that he can meet it for us.
So whatever it is you are looking forward to the most this summer, may you allow it to actually reveal the deeper hunger in your heart, and may you remain open to how God might meet you in that hunger in very real, fulfilling ways.
Questions to engage with this summer:
• What do you love most about summer? Why do you think that is?
• Do you have summer traditions that you return to year after year? What is it about that particular activity that you
return to it and not something else?
• What are you most looking forward to this summer? What about it appeals to you?
• Where do you plan to seek rest and replenishment this summer?
• What idols tempt you during the summer?
• How do the activities you engage in reveal your deepest longings?
• What happens if your expectations for summer aren’t met? What does this reveal to you?
• Are you willing to let God engage with the desires of your heart?
Becky is a therapist and spiritual director. She has been a member of Faith for five years. She also serves with Faith’s Photography Team and Writing Team. Becky enjoys writing about soul care and cultivating a deeper life with God.
Becky was born and raised in Colorado and enjoys spending time with her husband, gardening and exploring God’s creation.