Summertime can be many things for many people. It may be a time for vacations, a time for more reading, a time for weddings and moves and transitions. It can be busy, eventful, stressful, less organized, less routine, for some even lonely.
But remember that summer, like every season, is a gift from God. Warmer weather, vacations, gardening, more family time, eating outside, swimming, camping, however the season shapes up for you, it’s meant to be a gift. And as such, it should be received with thanksgiving. But transitions, changes, different routines, mixed with certain kinds of expectations can often be setups for grumbling and complaining. It’s too hot. It’s not hot enough. The kids are wild. The house is a wreck. My parents are overbearing. The neighbors are annoying. We don’t make enough to do what we’d really like to do. My wife isn’t respectful enough. My husband under appreciates me. And pretty soon you are Israel in the wilderness where it’s raining bread and meat, and you’re grumbling about the menu.
Ingratitude is a subtle but terrifying form of rebellion. It seems small. Maybe it’s just rolling your eyes, sarcasm, small biting comments, rolling your gripes over and over in your head, criticism wrapped in pious sounding words or even prayer requests. But God sees your heart. And He calls it a hard heart. And hard hearts are fundamentally selfish hearts. The summer is not yours. You did not invent summertime. It is not your time. It’s a present from Jesus. It’s a gift that you don’t deserve, you didn’t earn. So commit your summer to Jesus. Submit it and your energy and time and resources to Him. It’s all His anyway. And then ask yourselves: How will we use this season for His Kingdom? How will we cheerfully give our summer away to our family, our neighbors, to the unlovely, to the forgotten? If it wasn’t ours to begin with, it’s a great honor to give it away.