Seasons of Our Faith Day 2 – Summer: Nourishing Our Faith
by Maddie and Ruth McDonald
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105, ESV)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6, ESV)
What do you think of when it comes to summer? If you’re from the South, it probably involves something like sweltering heat and only being able to go outside if you’re next to a body of water. You also probably think of days at the beach, frozen popsicles, time off school (or your kids being at home), and Fourth of July fireworks. I have so many fond memories of summer, especially when I was off school. I could stay up all night (if I wanted), sleep in, and spend my days relaxing next to the pool. No longer did I have to worry about turning in assignments or waking up to the sound of my alarm. I also think of going on summer vacations with my family and all the beautiful places we’ve visited together. I hope you have some summer memories that made you smile today.
Summer means the days get even longer, and we can enjoy our days until about 9 or 10 PM, until the sunlight is gone. When we start our mornings, even before the sun is up, the air is usually still warm from yesterday’s heat. At the beginning of summer, the plants thrive because of all the sunlight and summer storms, but by the end, they are usually completely dried up, scorched from the heat. The plants’ desperate need for water reminds me of how we are always in need of time with our Savior. Nourishing our faith is needed; we can’t expect to grow closer to Christ and grow in our faith if we aren’t spending time with Him. We spend time with our friends and family, and our relationships with them deepen over time. Our relationship with Christ should be the same way.
One way to nourish our faith is to spend time soaking up His Word. Relationships involve communication—we don’t ignore our friends when they talk to us (hopefully). The same logic should be applied to our relationship with the Lord, because the Bible is His Word that He has given to us. Imagine the guilt we would feel if we had ignored our friend for years and years. Well, think how the Lord feels if we never take time to sit and enjoy His Word. I love this quote from James Merritt, “The primary purpose of reading the Bible is not to know the Bible but to know God.” It reminds us that we shouldn’t treat the Bible like some unfeeling textbook, but like a letter from a dear Father who loves us with an everlasting love.
Personally, I love to read; often it’s a riveting novel by only the light of a lamp. If we all, including myself, had the same drive to read the Bible in this way, imagine how different we would be as Christians. The more we spend time in His Word, the more His Word will echo in our minds and hearts when we go about our day. His Word will guide us, and will be “a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Spending time just enjoying His Word is so important. I’ve had stages where I treated it like an item on my to-do list rather than just sitting and enjoying what God had to say to me. We won’t glean the same enjoyment when we rush our time in His Word, but we will crave more time in His Word when we sit and enjoy it and listen to what He has to say.
Another way to nourish our faith is to speak to God through prayer. Reading the Bible is God’s side of the ongoing conversation, but we have to speak to Him, too, so we can deepen the relationship. Just like my example earlier, we spend time talking with our friends and family, and so we shouldn’t be silent in our relationship with God. Prayer doesn’t need to be some well-rehearsed words put before Him. It can be a time when we voice our appreciation of Him, or mention the needs of others. We can cry out to Him when we feel lonely, broken, and lost; we can bring to Him everything on our heart, and we are not to be anxious once we bring these things before Him, because He hears our needs and knows them (Phil. 4:6).
Just as plants need water in the summer, so our faith needs nourishing every day (not just in the summer). If you are feeling like your faith needs refreshing, come before Him in prayer and be honest with Him. The best person to come to about our faith is the One in whom we rest. I pray that we all may spend time in His presence each day.