It happens every year. About this time I get anxious for summer to come. I can’t wait for the slower pace, the break from routine, and the new adventures God has in store. Then all of a sudden it’s August again, and I think, “Where did the summer go?” You too? So how do we make the most of it? How do we keep from missing out on what God wants to show us during this season? Here are a few ideas as finals are almost over and we move into summer:
1) Catch your breath!
Do you feel like you never have time to spend chatting with Lord through prayer and Bible study? Summer is a great time to linger a little longer at the Lord’s feet and listen to what He wants to say to you. Take some time to catch your breath and just be still before the Lord. Even if you will be busier than ever during the summer, you can use the break from your normal routine to keep your eyes and ears open to hear the Lord speak.
“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8 (CSB)
2) Look for gospel conversations
Ideally we want to be on the lookout for gospel conversations all the time (!), but summer is often a time when we can be fully invested in ministry. Church schedules are busier with camps and trips. You may even be working at a camp or have more time to focus on ministry. Keep your eyes peeled for opportunities God gives you to share truth with those around you.
“But I consider my life of no value to myself; my purpose is to finish my course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of God’s grace.” Acts 20:24 (CSB)
3) Be on your guard
As we have more opportunities for ministry, we may experience more temptation from the enemy. Laziness, negative attitudes, frustration… you name it all can keep us from experiencing the joy of ministry and presence with the Lord that He wants for us. Be careful not to let distractions keep you from seeing what the Lord wants to teach you.
“Be sober-minded, be alert. Your adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 (CSB)
4) Be open to the unexpected
The Lord may be planning to do a new thing in your heart and mind this summer. As you are still before him and look for ministry opportunities, be open to letting Him lead you in the direction He wants you to go. He may just do something completely unexpected. You may experience new directions, new depth of relationship with Him, new hope for the future, or new adventures. Stay open and expect the unexpected.
“Now to him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us---to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20 (CSB)
Summer can be a time of great growth, but it can also be a time of great waste if we fail to take the opportunities God has before us. The question is, what are you going to do with your summer?
Dr. Emily Dean serves as Adjunct Faculty and Coordinator of Women’s Programs at NOBTS. You can follow her @emilywdean or emilywdean.com.