- Tabitha Caplinger
The Purpose of Summer
Updated: Jun 20, 2022
"He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers."
- Psalm 1:3 ESV
"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven."
- Ecclesiastes 3:1 ESV
Our world moves in seasons.
Our lives move in seasons.
Fall always gives way to winter.
Winter yields to spring.
Spring turns into glorious summer.
To be honest, I'm more of a fall person as far as weather goes. I love the air turning brisk and leaves changing color. But when we talk about seasons from a spiritual perspective summer is where we want to be.
Summer is a time of warmth and light and growth. Summer brings rest from the dreary winter and soil-tilling spring. Summer sees the fruit.
And the fruit is the point, right? When we are talking about our purpose as Jesus-followers, we are to know Him and make Him known. The more we do that--the more we abide in Him--the more the fruit of our lives will reveal His nature. The more that fruit is produced in us, the more we will see fruitfulness in our relationships and beyond.
Summer is a time to enjoy the fruit. But you can't enjoy a harvest, you never planted.
In order to reach the enjoyment, rest, and growth of spiritual summer, we have to have first prepared the soil of our hearts and let the Spirit plant seeds during fall and winter. We had to do the work of watering and weeding in spring.
In nature, the earth keeps turning and summer comes whether we did anything or not. But in our lives as Jesus-followers, our own attitudes or complacency keep us in winter longer than we'd like to be. The more readily we surrender and submit to God's voice, the sooner spring buds. The more readily we surrender and submit to God's will and way, the more fruitful our summer will be.
Submission and surrender don't sound fun. They usually aren't fun. But giving up my way for His, while real hard, is always real good. Why? Because it always produces good fruit.
I guess that's a point to cover too. When summer eventually comes there will be fruit, but what kind? Will it be the kind that yields fulfillment and contentment in my life? Will it be the kind that points others to Jesus? Or will it be the kind that is bitter and lacking?
I don't decide on my fruit in summer. I decide the kind of fruit I want to be cultivated in my life in winter. I decide by choosing to walk in step with the Spirit, the One who produces the fruit. I decide by keeping my heart soft to what He would plant and allowing Him to weed and prune the things in me that are unhealthy.
So we are right back to surrender and submission, the not-fun things that don't feel good. But if summer is a time to bear a fruit that points people to Jesus and brings rest and growth in our lives, the purpose of summer begins with the surrender of winter.