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Pursue a Truly Restful Summer!

· summer,Rest,Spiritual Discipline

The signs are all around us: the sound of kids playing outdoors, the smells of backyard grilling, the sight of shirts and sandals instead of long pants and boots. Summer is coming!

And for many of us, summer can’t come too soon, because it’s a time when we slow down. We sleep later on Saturdays because our kids' sports are over. We feel slightly less pressure at work and more time to spend with people. We take a couple weeks off for vacation. This is a time we need to help us recharge our batteries.

As you are planning the next few months, I encourage you to pursue a summer that is truly rejuvenating. Let this time be a gift from God that draws you nearer to Christ, rather than a time in which a departure from spiritual habits weakens your soul.

I’m challenged by something John Piper wrote a number of years ago in one of his devotionals:

"Jesus Christ is refreshing. Flight from him into Christless leisure makes the soul parched. At first it may feel like freedom and fun to skimp on prayer and neglect the Word. But then we pay: shallowness, powerlessness, vulnerability to sin, preoccupation with trifles, superficial relationships, and a frightening loss of interest in worship and the things of the Spirit. Don’t let summer make your soul shrivel." 

The Psalmist writes, “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so my soul thirsts for God.” Jesus tells us that our souls rest when we come to him. The space that the relaxed schedule of summer offers to us invites us to experience that thirst-quenching rest more fully.

In my experience, this will only happen if we are intentional, if we set goals. Here are just four examples of the kind of goals you might set for yourself this summer so that you can be truly refreshed.

  • Summer is a great time for reading! You can use your vacation time to read a spiritually nourishing and challenging book. Some examples of books I’ve recently read that I’d recommend: Humble Roots, by Hannah Anderson;