Have you ever found yourself on a cold winter morning or rainy spring afternoon wishing for summer? Then, when summer actually comes, you find yourself praying for it to go away? Well, most of us do, especially those of us who live in Texas. Our weather is unpredictable, but one thing we can count on is the blazing heat and sticky humidity June through September!

Several years ago, I had an opportunity to experience a taste of dry desert heat when I made a surprise visit to my sister’s family when they lived in California. Now, I am used to the heat, but this was another level! My brother-in-law described the heat like someone holding a blow dryer on the back of your neck, and that is exactly how it felt! I found myself grateful for the fact that at least back home we had the Texas humidity to cool us off!

In summer, there are days when the heat can become quite uncomfortable and so exhausting that we run for the nearest shade or retreat to a cool place. Most often, we will bear any expense to stay comfortable in the heat which makes summertime a welcomed season for businesses. It would be interesting to see the daily sales of major retail stores because I predict most of their profits come from sunscreen, swim gear, hats, sunglasses, flip flops, and fans! Speaking of profits, I guarantee the electric service providers and technicians laugh all the way to the bank over the increased usage and repairs of air conditioners! Even though we despise high utility bills, we keep blasting the air and pay the bill because we do not want to be hot!

High temperatures can be dangerous, thus we need to be careful of overexposure and heat exhaustion. Even still, there are benefits of summer. We look forward to barbeques, time off work, vacations, swimming, and old-fashioned good times! The days are longer, and we can do more with our time. It just occurred to me that we seem to be less vulnerable to colds and sicknesses too. Most sniffles in summer are usually due to atmosphere changes of air conditioning to heat. Spending more time outdoors causes an increase in perspiration and sweating which help regulate our body temperature and remove toxins or impurities from our bodies. And even midday sun exposure helps the body produce Vitamin D and many other health benefits.

The circumstances and trials in your life can feel like the fiery heat of summer. You may get tired, weary, and want to run and hide, but when the heat of life comes, God provides comfort and shade (Isaiah 4:6, Isaiah 25:4-5). Trials will come so when you are in the midst of the fire, keep your mind on Him. God will walk with you and even carry you through the heat of the fire (Daniel 3). Because of His faithful love, His tender mercies and compassions are new every day (Lamentations 3:22-23). If you put your hope and trust in God, He will make sure you survive and do not get burned. The trials, which are tests from God, come to challenge your faith, humble, and refine you (Deuteronomy 8:2, Psalm 66:10, 1 Peter 1:6-7). Like a goldsmith, God uses the heat of life like a fire to purify you, and the benefit is you will come out as gold (Job 23:10)! God is a consuming fire (Exodus 24:17, Deuteronomy 4:4). Not only will He burn away the impurities in your life and ignite your heart, but He will also devour your enemies. Your overcoming will radiate God’s glory to the world (Deuteronomy 9:3)!

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” James 2:2-4, NLT