3 Ways to Treasure the Gospel This SummerBy Trillia Newbell | May 16th, 2013 | Category: Uncategorized | 6 comments
After the second coldest spring on record, I opened the back door and headed out for a picnic with my oldest daughter. While she opened her peanut butter sandwich and licked off the jelly, we talked about what we would plant in the garden this year: peas, tomatoes, and kale.
Right now summer feels full of promise. The mosquitoes don’t yet swarm above the swampy places and our routine hasn’t been upset by the change of schedule following the school year.
But I know that soon it will just feel hot. Soon the days full of freedom and chaos will be upon us.They will bring unique challenges for treasuring the gospel. And while it’s easy enough to turn on the sprinkler and deal with the heat, summer will be suffocating if we aren’t refreshed by Jesus.
During the months ahead, how do we ensure the gospel remains our treasure? Here are three suggestions:
1. Reject the false gospel of Summertime.
Flipping through a magazine, it’s easy to fall for the notion that sipping a glass of lemonade on some deck will ease all my little problems. But it won’t. It won’t help my irritability when our toddler bumps in to me and I end up a sticky mess. We need Jesus to do that. Summertime won’t make our kids get along. They need Jesus to love one another. Sandy beaches and roller coasters and ice cream, canoes, kites, flip-flops, sunshine and late nights and patios won’t bring peace or joy. If you’re waiting for problems to melt away in the summer heat you’ll be heartbroken. Repent, quit waiting on Summer, and look to Jesus.
2. Meditate on the reality behind the season.
“God made summer as a foretaste of heaven, not a substitute. If the mailman brings you a love letter from your fiancé, don’t fall in love with the mailman. That’s what summer is: God’s messenger with a sun-soaked, tree-green, flower-blooming, lake-glistening letter of love to show us what he is planning for us in the age to come—’things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered into the heart of man, God has prepared for those who love him.’”
When you find yourself delighting in this season, take a minute to wonder what it will be like when the fulfillment of Summer comes. In her novel, Gilead, Marilynne Robinson’s character Mr. Boughton describes the exercise like this:
“Mainly I just think about the splendors of the world and multiply by two. I’d multiply by ten or twelve if I had the energy.”
3. Blow bubbles to the glory of God.
After a few minutes I’m ready to put the bubble wand away because my fingers are getting sticky. But by the grace of God I am no longer a slave to my selfish desires. And though it seems a small thing, keeping the bubbles out when it’s good for them, but I’d rather not, is a testimony to the power of the gospel. As I become satisfied in Jesus I can blow bubbles, not for my own aspirations of motherly perfection, but as an act of worship because he is freeing me to love my children humbly.
What would you add? What false promises are you tempted to believe about Summertime? What helps you treasure the gospel during this hot season?
Melissa McDonald (@melissabmcd) and her husband Eric serve and disciple international students at the University of Iowa with their two daughters, Miriam and Annette. She loves cooking, taking the girls on explores, and writing. Melissa blogs at The Cross and the Kitchen Sink and has written the bible study guide: To Live Valiently: A Study on the Proverbs 31 Woman.