Summer. A student’s (or teacher’s) favorite word. No more classes, no more tests, no more homework. Time to just relax, sleep in, and hang out with friends. Yet, this is also the time that a lot of Christians struggle to connect with God. Why is that, you may wonder? I think I may have your answer.
Time in summer isn’t the same as it is during school. You don’t usually have a set schedule every day. With no schedule, you can easily become distracted by other things, like going to movies, tanning at the pool, or catching up on your favorite TV show. “God time” can lose priority, and it can become a struggle to find time to pray or read the Bible. You may feel yourself distancing from God during the summer. So how, you may ask, do you beat this thinking, and get out of this slump?
First, make God a priority. Just because you don’t have to get up early or go to bed at a certain time, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t schedule time to spend with God. If you already have a routine during school, like praying as you get up, or reading a devotional before bed, keep that schedule even during the summer. If you don’t have a set schedule, then set a reminder or alarm on your phone to set time aside for you to be in God’s presence daily.
Second, get your friends in on it. Having friends keep you accountable in your Christian life is one way to never lose sight of your identity in Christ. And as friends, make it fun! Get together weekly to discuss a Bible verse or devotional. Have prayer time with them. Get out once a week or month. Do activities in nature like swimming, or hiking, and point out things God shows you that are beautiful or meaningful. By having a group of friends that share your beliefs and keep you accountable about staying the course with God, you’re more likely to grow closer to Him, and to your friends.
Lastly, don’t beat yourself up if you miss the mark. We all have times in our lives where it seems like we are too busy for God. Where we can barely take 5 minutes of our day and spend it with him. And that’s okay. Don’t just quit if you keep forgetting to pray daily, or don’t finish your devotional when you wanted to. Keep trying. Keep setting those alarms, keep praying sporadically, read that devotional or Bible chapter whenever you remember to. Don’t listen to the voices that say: “you’ve lost it, you aren’t close to God anymore so you might as well just stop trying.” The enemy tries to discourage you, but God will ONLY encourage you. If you keep trying, soon you won’t need that alarm, or that friend to text and ask about what you read that day. And when that day comes, know that God was as close to you when you were struggling as He is when you talk to Him all the time.
Summer is a great time to relax and have fun. But if you aren’t careful, it’s a time that the enemy will use to discourage you, and try to distract you from God’s plan for you. So I encourage you, to instead, let summer be the time that your faith gets stronger, and your love of God grows daily.
By: Holly Sebastian