“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the blue sky, is by no means waste of time.” ~John Lubbock, “Recreation,” The Use of Life, 1894
These are strange and breathless days, the dog days…” ― Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting
It’s August. Hot, humid, sticky August. It’s the “dog-days-of-summer” and everyone is just trying to stay cool. Lemonade and iced tea flow through the kitchen like a river over shiny, cold stones of ice. Even the occasional rain shower is cause for celebration. The heat of summer begs us to pause in the shade and be still.
As I sat on the porch this morning and looked out at the flowers struggling in the heat I was reminded of a scripture in the book of James. It says, “The sun rises with its blazing heat and burns the plant; its flower falls off, and its beauty is destroyed.” (James 1:11) Sounds fairly hopeless, doesn’t it? But a little later James talks about tests and temptations and gives a message of hope… “Happy are those who remain faithful under trials, because when they succeed in passing such a temptation, they will receive as their reward the life which God has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12)
As I sat there in the morning summer heat pondering James’ words I heard a swift strong breeze rustling the leaves of the trees as it approached. It’s coolness blew through me and went on its way. That is when I found my own hope for the day. That “pneuma” or Holy Spirit is what keeps me refreshed when the going gets tough and I find myself in some sort of heated challenge or trial. When I am open to the wind of the Holy Spirit I am refreshed and renewed.
So just for today, grab your tall glass of lemonade and a friend. Find some shady spot to strengthen one another in faithful living. Remind someone today of God’s promise of love and the Holy Spirit’s refreshing gift.
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