Summer internships suck. I’m serious.
They suck because they always have to come to an end. It’s these summers that I see God the clearest…and they always have to end. It ended last year, and it will end again this year. And I’m not ready.
In the past few days I have had this overwhelming feeling that I am so blessed. I have been blessed with an amazing job that has given me the opportunity to exercise my leadership abilities, to spend time investing in the lives of some incredible girls, to be challenged and stretched as a person, and the chance to grow closer to some amazing peers and friends.
But this shouldnt just be for a summer. It can’t be. Maybe thats why God has put things into place that set us up for a successful life. And by success, I do not mean wealth or posessions or even an established household. I mean a fulfilled and satisfied life…running hard after the heart of God. There are so many facets of this life that God has established for life to the full. These life-giving essentials. A healthy lifestyle of eating right and exercising. Community. Daily time with God. Serving others. Being forever on guard against attack from the enemy. Denying ourselves and taking up our cross. And when these things come together, how can we not feel like we’re living life to the full? Its these things that I’ve got to stick with when the summer ends. These are the things that i’ve got to integrate into my every day lifestyle..whether its summer or not. Easy to say, and really good intentions. Its easy to say in the summer that God is good. But what happens in the winter?
What happens when things don’t always line up? When you’re lucky if just one part of your life is going okay? When one more task is going to put you into overload…when your family goes off the deep end…when you get to that if-you-say-one-more-negative-thing-about-me-i’ll-kill-you stage with a friend or coworker, when reading your Bible is the last thing you feel like doing…when you are tempted every time you open your eyes…when you barely have enough time for yourself let alone to serve others, when you feel anything but blessed? God is still good? Wait, thats not a question…God IS still good. And really, even if we have all of those Godly supports in place and are relentlessly striving after God, winter will still come. And that’s okay. It’s inevitable. There WILL be hard seasons of life, there WILL be tragedies that rock us to our core, there WILL be failures, there WILL be tension and arguments and chaos, there WILL be people who disappoint us and create a massive heartache in our lives…there WILL still be winters in our lives.
But I guess in living out those life-giving essentials in the midst of winter such as community, daily time with God, denying ourselves and taking up our cross, serving others….i guess its in those things that we come to the place where we say “I am Yours regardless of the clouds that may loom above, because you are much greater than my pain…Bring me joy, bring me peace…bring the chance to be free…Bring me anything that brings You glory…And I know there’ll be days when this life brings me pain…But if that’s what it takes to praise You…Jesus, bring the rain.” (mercyme)
Maybe, just maybe, God set up those life-giving essentials not for summer…but for winter. Maybe it’s His way of keeping us warm in the bitter cold of life. So may I bask in the warmth of blessing this summer…but let me not forget these essentials for winter survival.
God, it is the desire of my heart to crawl up in your lap like a child and feel your warmth surround me, to press my head against your heart and feel my heartbeat line up with yours, to grasp your face and tilt it towards me just so i can get a glimpse of you, to live my life in a way that makes me see your smile. It is the cry of my heart to intimately love you. I crave to live out those life-giving essentials you have blessed me with. I thank you for loving me so deeply. Keep me warm when winter comes. Thank you for winter. Thank you for those times that strip me of all I am, because thats when I realize you’re all I have. And so…along the lines of stupid prayers…bring winter to me. Prune me so that I will be more fruitful. Shatter my life in a way that only you can restore. If winter causes me to become more intimate with you, if it causes me to grab onto you even tighter, if it solidifies the fact that my identity is found in you alone…I am ready…I am scared…I am willing. Let it snow.