Delighting in the Lord with One Another
Happy summer to you all, my sisters! If you’re like me, summer is a time to relax, refresh, refocus, and take a much needed break from the relentless schedule to meet with a friend, read a book, or organize a room in my house. To breathe a little. To dig my toes into the sand. To think.
Maybe I’m an anomaly - perhaps some of you feel that summer is more stressful with hotter temperatures, kids home from school, a continuation of the work routine, or an unwelcome changing routine depending on the day or week! However you find yourself this summer, let me encourage you to a renewed zeal for the Word and an increased commitment to prayer and fellowship.
Delight yourself in the Lord…
The well-intentioned resolutions of the New Year have long faded, and the frenzy of graduations, parties, schedules, and commitments have nudged our promises to read the Bible more consistently and pray without ceasing to the margins of our lives. We feel a bit tired, a little burned out, and we have forgotten where our life flows from. We squeeze a little devotional in here and there, maybe a quick chapter of John in the morning (“It’s been a while since I’ve opened my Bible…. Where to begin? Hm, I’ve always liked John!”) and we check the box.
We are dutiful, and believe me - dutiful is not all bad! When delight is not happening, duty must intervene. But do not allow yourself to stay in a relationship with the Creator of All Things, the Lover of Your Soul, merely as a duty. In Psalm 36, David writes, “How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light” (verses 7-9, italics mine). He has found life lived with God to be one of abundance and delight! Rivers and fountains, not sips and drizzles!
I encourage you, my sisters, wherever you find yourself this summer, press in to knowing our God. One of the most fruitful ways I have found to increase my delight, especially when I have found it waning in my own walk with the Lord, is to read the Word and pray with a friend. A friend can help us see things in the scriptures that we might have missed on our own. She offers a different perspective. Her prayers sound different from yours and remind you of things that are true about our God that you have forgotten. She will hold you accountable to being in the Word, prayer, and fellowship - for your good!
A few years ago, I noticed a young woman alone at the back of the cafeteria after church. She looked upset, and I asked her if she was ok. She expressed to me how lonely she was, lamenting the lack of any Christian friends, and not knowing how to make one. I mentioned to her that I had time in the coming summer for a new friend if she would like to meet weekly and spend time in the Word and prayer together. She was taken aback and essentially expressed that surely it would not work for us to be friends–she was a college-aged woman into working out and I was a 30-something soccer mom. I suggested we give it a try and asked her if I could have an Americano ready for her on a designated morning. Surprised, she looked at me and said, “Americano!? That’s my drink!” Maybe we did have something in common after all …
Over that summer, we dug into the book of 1 Corinthians together and had fruitful discussions about God, life, relationships, and future plans. We prayed for each other. We learned that Christian friendship is not centered around similar ages and stages, but rather on the finished work of Christ, which has made us family–adopted heirs of the kingdom of God!
Will you consider looking around you this summer for someone to walk with? There are opportunities for group Bible study that might be a good fit for you and provide opportunity for discipleship and fellowship. But if that doesn’t work in your schedule, be bold and ask someone to read the Word and pray regularly with you this summer. And don’t hesitate to ask someone who looks or seems different than you - you might be surprised by how God blesses you both!
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Grace and peace,