Sunday, July 16, 2023

Spiritual Growth in the Sweet Summertime

 By: Paula Short

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17— NIV

Ahhh— Summer my favorite time of year. The summer months and fun in the sun are a time for relaxation and fun, but they can also be a time for spiritual growth. When we take the time to slow down and appreciate the simple things in life, we can connect with God more deeply. Let's embrace this season with open hearts and minds, seeking deeper meaning and purpose in all we do.

As believers, we understand that spiritual growth is not limited. Rather, it can be found in the everyday moments of our lives, such as taking a few moments to reflect on our past, future, and anything that holds significant meaning to us. Let's welcome the simple things and allow them to enrich our souls and deepen our connection with God.

 All that's needed is a readiness to ponder on the principles and priorities that hold significance to you.

Summertime offers more than simply enjoying the beach's sand, surf, and sunshine. You can beat the heat indoors or use the warm evenings of summer as a time to grow spiritually. Many people enjoy spending time near a lake; others enjoy the mountains or woods. Still, others enjoy the simplicity of their own backyard.

When you sit quietly, you open yourself to God's presence. You are also learning to be more aware of the world around you and appreciate the beauty of God's creation.

If you are sitting quietly with friends, you can also use this time to talk about your faith and share your thoughts and feelings. This can be a wonderful time because you can connect with others. 

Here are some ideas for summer fun and spiritual growth:

  • Spend time around a campfire.
  • Travel to the beach and watch the waves.
  • Go to a peaceful destination, such as a trail, park, or woods.
  • Go swimming.
  • Be porch people (My favorite).
  • Have a picnic or get together.
  • Examine the value in the small things you do.

People will be able to see how peaceful you are. And you'll be able to show them that it is possible to have fun while still living a life that aligns with God's will. You will be able to help them experience the peace, freedom, and blessings that come from following Jesus.

Even when the sun is bright, and many people are playing, you can use this time to grow and develop. You can learn more about yourself while relaxing simply by examining what you choose to do with your free time. Let yourself go. Really see and feel what you're doing.

 "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you

  and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you

  and give you peace." Numbers 6: 24-26— NIV

Let's Reflect

While enjoying the summer sunshine, realize what a glorious gift you have in life itself. Take time to laugh, run, play, and let your hair down. Savor each moment of your summer instead of taking it for granted. Your life and summer are beautiful giftsmake the most of them!

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