June 21st marks the first day of summer.  In Northwest Montana, that not only means
that the sun rises at 5:36am and sets at 9:42pm, but it means that winter is
technically behind us.  It also means
that winter is right around the corner. 
Just a week ago I heard someone say, “In about 8 weeks the temperatures
will begin dropping at night.”  Now I am
not ready to hear that right now, but I do understand, that when the nighttime temperatures
start dropping, well, winter is right around the corner.

We have seen the white stuff come down in varying amounts in
every month of the year, and in the 9 ½ years of living here I believe that the
following is still true – 9 months of winter and 3 months of relatives.

I do not know if summer is really here, and I do not know
that I am ready for dropping temperatures in 8 weeks.  What I do know is that God is good, God is on
the throne, God loves me and God has a plan. 
I also know that He works all things for the good to those who love Him
and are called according to His purpose. 
It is comforting to know these truths and that God’s will is perfect and
right and reasonable.  I also know that
God wants us to grow.

Summer is not just a time of increasing temperatures, no school
and vacations, but it is a time of growth. 
We see it in God’s creation and should be witnessing forward progress in
our lives as well.  One area we can all
grow in has to do with the fear of man. All too often we exchange God’s
approval and seeking what God thinks for the temporal and transient opinion of
others.  This is such a snare and rip-off
just as Proverbs 29:25 states, “The fear of man brings a snare, but
whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.”

Oswald Chambers said, “When you fear God, you fear nothing
else…if you do not fear God, you fear everything else.”  May we take that to heart, trusting in the
Lord and seeking the approval of God this summer and in the seasons to come.