A post by one of my favorite writers, Jon Bloom: “I Wish I Had a Child Like You”
A word on summer, from John Piper: “Don’t let summer make your soul shrivel.”
The danger with all our summertime ideas (even the more ‘spiritual’ ones) is that we would enjoy or pursue them to the neglect of God himself.
“Flight from him into Christless leisure makes the soul parched” warns Piper. “At first it may feel like freedom and fun to skimp on prayer and neglect the Word, but then we pay: shallowness, powerlessness, vulnerability to sin, preoccupation with trifles, superficial relationships, and a frightening loss of interest in worship and the things of the Spirit.”
The solution to a shallow summer? “If then you have been raised up with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (Col. 3:1-2, RSV).
Remember that, “Jesus Christ is the refreshing center of summer. He is preeminent in all things (Col. 1:18), including vacations, picnics, softball, long walks, and cookouts [and square foot gardens, pinnebrød, and popsicle trees].”
Or, he says it another way: “The summer sun is a mere pointer to the sun that will be: the glory of God. Summer is for seeing and showing that.”
Heavenly Father, may we not be guilty of “Christless leisure” but may we “see” and “show” your glory in all we do this summer. Amen.
—from the archives
The following interview with Nancy Guthrie from Desiring God Live is both comforting and compelling—in particular the first half where she shares her testimony of God’s grace in the midst of the grief of losing two children. Here is a brief introduction to Nancy from the DG blog and the video is below. We’d encourage you to watch or listen:
In today’s modern world, few parents have to face the bitter task of burying a child that they love. But David and Nancy Guthrie have faced the grave twice now, burying two children who lived only six months.
When Nancy gave birth to a daughter, Hope, in 1998, club feet, extreme lethargy, an inability to suck, and a number of other small problems hinted at something more significant. On her second day of life, Hope was diagnosed with Zellweger Syndrome, a rare metabolic disorder that is characterized by the reduction or absence of peroxisomes (cell structures that rid the body of toxic substances) in the cells of the liver, kidneys, and brain. There is no treatment and no cure for Zellweger Syndrome and most children with the syndrome live less than six months.
For Nancy, her husband David, and their son, Matt, the diagnosis was devastating and disappointing. Hope’s brief life—a life of only 199 days— made a significant impact on them and those around them, causing them to dig deep into their faith to make sense of such suffering.
When it comes to books, there are really two categories: the Bible, and everything else. While the great works of men certainly reflect our Lord’s creativity, the Bible contains the very Words of God. That’s why the psalmist appropriately gushes, “More to be desired are they than gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb” (Psalm 19:10).
And that’s why Horatius Bonar warns: “See that your relish for the Bible be above every other enjoyment, and the moment you begin to feel greater relish for any other book, lay it down till you have sought deliverance from such a snare, and obtained from the Holy Spirit an intenser relish, a keener appetite for the Word of God (Jer 15:16).”
Yesterday we received a sweet email about a woman with a keen appetite for the Word of God. Jayne writes that, “My Dad’s favorite memory of his mother is of her kneading bread on the kitchen counter with her Bible open, dusted by the flour. She had 11 children and made all the family bread from scratch each day. Money was in very short supply but her love of the Word was plentiful. Working within her limitations of strength, time & duty, she found a way to fill her days with reading the Word.”
Similarly, Donald Whitney points to the example of another woman whose “longings for the things of God reached as high as ever” even when “her time and energy had new and severe limits.”
So if you find your relish for God’s Word has diminished, then pray as the Psalmist did: “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law” (Psalm 119:18). Then dust off your Bible and read.
—from the archives