Growing up on the coast, I was used to spending my summers at the ocean. My family and I would sometimes spend hours soaking up the sun and playing in the sea. After being tuckered out from treading the waves, I would lay down in the sand and close my eyes. I would feel the heat of the sun on my face and taste the salty water on my lips. I would hear the sound of laughing children and squawking seagulls diving for food. But even though I was surrounded by different noises, the sound of the waves echoed the most in my ears and lulled me to sleep on the sand. Simply reminiscing about the sights and sounds of past summers fill me with a sense of stillness. Now that I'm older, I don't have as many opportunities to spend time at the beach. But I still crave that stillness the ocean gave me as I go about my summer.
With the summer naturally being a season to slow down, it can be easy to fill our time with as many fun plans as we can. But it is possible for our spiritual disciplines to take the back seat when summer bliss grabs the steering wheel. One of those neglected disciplines is stillness or solitude. We can allow our summer schedules to keep us from taking the time to stop and be still with the Lord. Regardless of whether your summer is jam-packed with plans or feels fairly unchanged by the new season, stillness is still possible if we seek it out. So while it's great to experience moments of family fun and tropical trips, what if we made stillness a priority this season?
Stillness can be tricky during the summer because of our kids being home or the busyness of our days, but a simple way to make stillness happen is to dedicate a portion of the day to meditating on Scripture. What is great about meditation is that it can happen at any time and any place. We simply need to take the time to be still and consider what God is teaching us through His Word. This can happen when you are sitting on the beach, on the back porch as your kids play in the backyard, or watching the sun go down on the lake.
Just like our skin grows warmer as it soaks up the sun, so do our hearts grow warmer when we soak up Scripture. God's Word warms our hearts to the truth of who God is, His promises, and the good news of the gospel. When we take the time to be still and meditate on Scripture, we will find our hearts rested even in the busyness of the summer season. While you can use any passage or passages of Scripture to meditate on this summer, I've gathered a collection of "summer themed" Scriptures you can use for personal meditation:
Greater than the roar of a huge torrent –the mighty breakers of the sea –the Lord on high is majestic. – Psalms 93:4
From the rising of the sun to its setting, let the name of the Lord be praised. – Psalms 113:3
Lord God of Armies, who is strong like you, Lord? Your faithfulness surrounds you. You rule the raging sea; when its waves surge, you still them. – Psalms 89:8–9
This is what the Lord says: The one who gives the sun for light by day, the fixed order of moon and stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea and makes its waves roar –the Lord of Armies is his name: – Jeremiah 31:35
He made the great lights: 'His faithful love endures forever.' the sun to rule by day, 'His faithful love endures forever.' – Psalms 136:7–8
For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord's glory, as the water covers the sea. – Habakkuk 2:14
For the Lord God is a sun and shield. The Lord grants favor and honor; he does not withhold the good from those who live with integrity. – Psalms 84:11
Whether you use these verses or others, spend some time soaking in Scripture by asking yourself these questions:
- What does this verse say about God?
- What images do these verses invoke in my mind?
- How should I respond to this verse?
You can also spend some time meditating on Scripture in these ways:
- Say the verse aloud slowly
- Sing the verse
- Hand Letter the verse
- Memorize the verse
- Draw a picture in response to the verse
However you choose to meditate on the Bible this summer, carve out some time to sit with the Lord. Allow the sights and sounds of this summer season to cause you to ponder the truths of Scripture. And let yourself be still as your heart soaks up the warmth of God's Word.