Baking in the Sun

Baking in the Sun

What beauty God brings to nature in the changing seasons! The month of July was hot and the
grass was dry, crisp and yellow. The humidity was high and there were lots oftimes I thought I
was going to melt as I drove my non-air-conditioned car to hospital visits, to and forth from work
and to the many soccer games my grandchildren age 7 and 11 have had this summer. You needed
lots of sunscreen, a good hat, sunglasses and even a sunshade some days. But oh, how they
played! They are growing up! Watching them I had time to reflect on the blessings God brings us
along the way. This goes for our environment and for our families too! The summer was a good
time to appreciate the way that God makes things grow. He makes the seed, we plant it and with
the rains and the warming of the earth a lot of good things grow. The rain kept moving around
from one area to another but rain did eventually come.

Not every year is like this. There are times that it is abnormally hot and I remember a number of
the last years that that was not the case. You never know what you will get. But the seasons go
on, just like they did when I was a child growing up and there was scorching heat and brittle,
yellow grass. God has promised in His word that as long as we live there will be seed time and
harvest and the seasons will roll on. We must never take that for granted but we may always be
grateful for what he gives and how, in the end the harvest comes in and our needs are met. Truly
God is good and he sees to the needs of his people.

I am reminded now, as I look forward to cooler weather that cannot be too far away, by
September anyway, that there are seasons to life as well. When we are young the days seem to
pass so slowly and there is so much to learn, to pay attention to and to experience. Maybe that is
why children say the summer vacation seems to be so long, and they like that! But the years do
go by. As we get into our teen and young adult years there is so much for us to come to terms
with, to integrate into our understanding and our education. As adults we build our lives, our
families and careers and we come to grips with responsibility and purpose and how we live our
life and for whom. The senior years are years of reflection and fulfillment of plans and purposes
embraced long before in our lives and families. In these years we seek to impart to the younger
generations some of the lessons God has enabled us to learn and we are busy with finishing well
for as many years as God will still give.

Faith and relationship with God is all wrapped up in these seasons of life. From youngest years
many of us have been exposed to the knowledge of our Lord and to the idea that we need to
come to him to be our Savior and Lord. This knowledge and decision shapes our growing up
years and the choices and commitments of the adult years. The path of the Kingdom and our
walk with the Lord need to be something that begins early in life. We see so many who take the
spidtual lightly, making very poor choices in these formative years that can do great damage to
our life, our potential and our relationships and in many cases will take years to overcome. As
parents and grandparents we pray for our families to hear the word of the Lord and to receive his
presence and influence deep within that it may be well with them in the land that the Lord their
God gives them.

The more we pray and the more we experience, the more we realize the seriousness of this life
and the crucial lessons to be learned in life’s seasons. From childhood to teen years, to young
adulthood, to the establishing of a home and the welcoming of children there is so much at stake
and the counsel of the Lord is so vital at every stage. Will we love the Lord our God with all our
mind, soul, heart and strength and our neighbor as our-self? Will we grow in wisdom and stature
and in favor with God and man? Will we grow in grace and Godliness and exhibit the fruit of the
Spirit in our walk with God and with the people God has given us to care for and care about? All
these things are so vital to consider as we grow up in God and learn to resist the ways and the
values of our worldly culture. May we keep our eyes on Jesus, the author and the finisher of our
faith.

Jesus is the one who guides us through the seasons of life and sustains us in times of dryness and
plenty. He has promised us the abundance of life and faith is we learn to come to him for all of
life’s needs and in all of its questions and decisions. Have you read Psalm 1 lately? It talks of
great blessing for those who shun the world’s way and delight in the law of the Lord, making
that their meditation. As Psalm 1 says, in verse 3, people like this are like trees planted by
streams of water, yielding their fruit in season. Their leaf does not wither and whatever they do
prospers. Trust the Lord with your way in life, for he watches over you and leads you in
righteousness.

Pastor Hank Bylstra