Falling in love with God again can change your life, especially in this chaotic world we’re living in. His steady love can keep you grounded.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV)
I’m old enough to remember when life really was simpler, and to know that it’s not merely my age and life stage that’s made it feel more complex.
I wonder if you can relate to this question: Can I find God, again, here in the always-online world where life feels so complicated?
Though I grew up in middle America, in a state where winter felt like it lasted six months and snow pants were a staple in my wardrobe, most of my childhood memories happened in summer.
Catching fireflies in Ball jars on the Fourth of July by the lake at my grandparents’ house. (Only after emptying jars we had found in the shed full of last year’s fireflies.)
Sitting with friends, talking about God, as our feet dangled over the pier at Saranac Lake – the wake of far-off boats lapping at our feet.
Lemonade stands at the end of our driveway, slip-in-slides on the lawn, and bike rides with friends to the local yogurt shop — my childhood feels suspended in perpetual summer.
Fast forward to 2021, where ice cream runs and those hours spent building sandcastles can seem like the child’s play they once were – solely to be enjoyed by the light-hearted, the young, the naïve.
The digital headlines in my hand tempt my mind in the wee hours of the morning, and the negative potentialities of all that’s happening in the world can flood my nighttime dreams. If we’re honest, life can feel too complicated for a minute-long conversation with God, much less a meandering walk along the ocean in summer in full conversation with Him, to make an impact.
Does God have an invitation for you this summer?
But what if God’s invitation for your summer is the same as it was when you were eight or twelve or even twenty-five? Find Me in the small. Encounter My love in the seemingly insignificant.
The hummingbird at your window just after the sun came up and the shooting star you accidentally witnessed on your back porch – what if noticing them, receiving them, were stepping stones into a fluid conversation with God?
Paul invites us in Thessalonians to pray without ceasing, and immediately my mind considers the stained-glass windows that encircled the church of my youth. Inadvertently, I think I must get back to a special place of sacred quiet – of reverence – to access this kind of never-stopping prayer.
But to pray all the time — in the moments outside the church building and inside the noisy world — we need to develop an eye for God’s activity, in the small.
Many of us have been engulfed by the stories of pain and struggle “out there”.
But God is in the minutes right here: the toddler who sings herself to sleep at night, and the friend who spontaneously dropped off flowers, and the verse we read in our morning reading that spoke precisely to our heart’s fear.
This unchanging God who clothes the lilies in the field by your house and feeds the sparrows in your front yard is inviting us to, first, see Him in the seemingly insignificant minutes of our summer.
Because when we start to notice His attention to detail there, it makes talking to Him from those minutes all the more natural.
“Pray without ceasing” starts with one minute.
Perhaps this is your summer to let Him lead you there.
In His Word
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words whose voice is not heard. Psalm 19:1-3 (ESV):
In Your Life
How have you seen yourself overlooking the small, missing the details of your day that might reveal God’s hand?
Pause and consider this: In the past 24-36 hours, when have you seen evidence of God’s reach for you? Of God, pursuing you in the details of your day?
For anyone who wants to dive deeper into this kind of ‘minute conversation’ with God, Sara’s book ADORE offers a simple, soul-nourishing practice for engaging with God in the middle minutes of your day.
Sara also has a free summer email series on talking to God in the middle minutes. You can sign up to receive prompts and stories and videos from Sara, all summer long, as a way to invite God into your middle minutes.