It’s August. School will start soon, and we’ll be off and running into the fall with its cooler weather and harvest holidays. For now, however, summer is at its height. Always a reminder of God’s love and magnificence, nature is right now bursting with green trees, sunny skies, and sweet flowers of every color and description. Glance out the window or take a stroll to enjoy the beauty. Breathe in, let the sun warm your heart, and take a moment in this busy season to reflect on Psalm 46:10 – He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Evidence of God’s power, grace, and love surround us always, and His care and the beauty of his creation are everywhere – even when we’re not looking. There is something special in every season, and it seems to me that in summer, joy abounds. Most of us are on vacation at least a few days; children are out of school and into summer activities and long days of play and adventure; and there’s always something to do – even in our own backyards.
When the weather allows, I like to sit back and watch the clouds as they make their way across the sky; I’ve done this at dawn and again at sunset; noting the different colors and configurations of the clouds and the faint appearance of the moon and stars as evening approaches. Join me, and read Psalm 19:1: The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Talk about this with the family, or anyone who will listen; pausing to observe the beauty of the skies will indeed remind us to be still…and know… If it’s raining, all the better! Watch (from the safety of home) the storm clouds gather and darken the horizon. As the drops fall, notice how they make the leaves and grass shimmer, how they pool together in puddles and reflect the clouds.
Some morning or afternoon, see if you can find a caterpillar and/or a butterfly in the yard. Look closely at the details of both and note those perfectly painted wings of the butterfly. Study the process of metamorphosis if you’ve not yet; it is a fascinating example of the care God takes in every aspect of His creation. Read 2 Corinthians 5:17: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
At night, sit quietly and listen to the cicadas as they sing in the trees – hear the crickets as they post their messages on the night air. Get up from the porch and chase fireflies, or just sit back and notice how they stand out in the darkness with their sparkling light. Sing (silently to yourself, or right out loud!), “This Little Light of Mine” and decide that you will definitely make it shine this coming week, grateful for the beauty of God’s handiwork and His love.
I’m sure you can think of a hundred other things to do that will remind you to reflect on these verses – and others that nourish the spirit in summer or any season. Jesus said, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete (John 15:9-11).
Soak in the beauty of summer and God’s love. Be joyful! Be still…and know…