When life isn’t going well, or following our carefully made plans, it is perhaps easy to turn to God, crying out for help and comfort. When we are in the winter, we find ourselves desperately asking him for peace, for him to change the situation. We rely on his strength, his victory to get us through the difficult times and seasons in our own lives.
But when it is summer, things are going well, life is easy, we are carefree, we have no responsibilities, do we still want to know, love and follow Jesus? When we’re on holiday, or enjoying a weekend away, or just a lazy afternoon in the sun, do we really see the need for Jesus?
I wonder and worry if we reduce God to someone we need only in the bad times and that we associate God with problems.
Is God only useful to us when we have problems to solve? When we stare our humanity in the face, our flaws laid bare, our weakness forcing us to feel the weight of the load of brokenness we carry – is it only then, when life is tough, that we approach our ultimate problem solver?
Taking annual leave
On reflection, it seems that come summer, we often seem to relax in our faith. Yes, as Christians we fill our churches at Christmas time: singing carols, making up gift boxes for families in need, celebrating the birth of Jesus and the hope that brings for us.
But then Christmas rolls into Boxing Day, then New Years and holidays in early January and we seem to pack our faith up into a box, put away for the rest of summer.
Does Jesus’ call on our lives really stop or take a break, even if our routines and regular responsibilities perhaps do? When we go on annual leave from work or holidays from our studies, are we also taking annual leave from Jesus?
Taking Jesus on holiday with us
God is with us in the winter and in the summer. Yes, it can be easier to find God in the negative and tough times in our lives because our need for him is obvious. Our problems consume us.
But we can find Jesus in the positive too. Jesus is more than our problem solver. He is present and in our lives all year round. We can spend time with Jesus, celebrating and praising him for the good things in our lives.
When we aren’t dealing with a difficult situation, or when life is going well, we can be thankful and we can hold a posture of gratitude.
On your annual holiday, or while you’re at the beach on a hot summers day, you can still show the love, compassion and grace of Jesus to those you encounter, to those you spend time with and also to yourself.
And even when life isn’t overly difficult or challenging, it can be easy to make time for God when it is part of our routines. However, when you clock out for the year, switch to holiday mode, leaving your routines behind, are you also leaving God behind? How can we find ways to seek God in the relaxation of our holidays?
A beautiful summer day, a relaxing weekend at home, a family holiday filled with laughter. These are things that fill our summers and if we see them as good and perfect gifts then we can’t help but thank God who gave them to us from above, as written:
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights” (James chapter 1, verse 17).
As summer holidays come to close and we return to work or university, how can we find ways to make God a bigger part of our lives? How can we see where Jesus transcends our winters and fills our summers?
Rebecca Hoverd studies law and geography at The University of Auckland and loves writing as a way to communicate with God and to unpack her thoughts. She loves coffee, conversations, and would love to hear your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.