• Rebecca Hoverd

Finding Jesus in the positive

Rebecca writes to encourage us to continue to seek Jesus through all seasons.

I first wrote this article last January in a pre-pandemic time, when Covid-19 was not something we spoke of on the daily. It almost seems more relevant now and I guess that is the thing about God and our relationship with Him – He is constantly relevant to all parts of our lives.

Often, we hear people talk of finding comfort in God in the tough times yet forgetting to praise Him in the good times. Moreover, when life seems easy, or perhaps simply monotonous, it can be hard to see our need for Jesus.

I wonder if at times reduce God to someone we need only in the bad times and that we associate God with problems. Is God only useful to us when we have problems to solve? When we stare our humanity in the face, our flaws laid bare, our weakness forcing us to feel the weight of the load of brokenness we carry – is it only then, when life is tough, that we approach our ultimate problem solver?

Taking annual leave

On reflection, it seems that come summer, we often seem to relax in our faith. Yes, as Christians we fill our churches at Christmas time: singing carols, making up gift boxes for families in need, celebrating the birth of Jesus and the hope that brings for us. But then Christmas rolls into Boxing Day, then New Years and holidays in early January and we seem to pack our faith up into a box, put away for the rest of summer.

And this year, when we cannot meet in person to celebrate Christ’s birth, do we risk packing up our faith even sooner than Christmas? Have we, perhaps, already boxed up our faith, putting it in the “for later” basket? After 3 months of church online, 3 months of being at home, living what is likely to be monotonous lives, do we still have the eyes to see our need for Jesus? Are we still looking for and living out His call on our lives to go out and love on others?

Does Jesus’ call on our lives really stop or take a break, even if our routines and regular responsibilities perhaps do? When we go on annual leave from work or holidays from our studies, are we also taking annual leave from Jesus?

When we’re stuck at home for months on end and we aren’t gathering as usual, are we neglecting to engage with Jesus and our faith community? Of course, some of us are experiencing serious challenges in this season and out of that, a desperation for God and prayer and fellowship. Maybe we need to lean in and be Jesus to these people.

Taking Jesus on holiday with you, living with Jesus through lockdown

God is with us in the winter and in the summer. Yes, it can be easier to find God in the negative and tough times in our lives because our need for him is obvious. Our problems consume us. But we can find Jesus in the positive. Jesus is more than our problem solver. He is present and in our lives all year round. We can spend time with Jesus, celebrating and praising him for the good things in our lives.

When we aren’t dealing with a difficult situation, or when life is going well, we can be thankful and we can hold a posture of gratitude. On your annual holiday, or while you’re at the beach on a hot summers day, you can still show the love, compassion and grace of Jesus to those you encounter, to those you spend time with and also to yourself.

And even when life isn’t overly difficult or challenging, it can be easy to make time for God when it is part of our routines. However, when you clock out for the year, switch to holiday mode, leaving your routines behind, are you also leaving God behind? How can we find ways to seek God in the relaxation of our holidays?

In our monotonous working from home days, how can we find ways to seek God? As we engage with church online on a Sunday morning, how can we find a fresh way to participate in fellowship, biblical study and worship?

A beautiful summers day, a relaxing weekend at home, a family holiday filled with laughter. These are things that fill our summers and if we see them as good and perfect gifts then we can’t help but thank God who gave them to us from above, as written. Additionally, consider this extra time we have at home this year—is there even just one way it can be a blessing? Is there one thing we can do to take the opportunity to praise God for it?

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights” (James chapter 1, verse 17).

As summer holidays come to close and we return to work or university, how can we find ways to make God a bigger part of our lives? How can we see where Jesus transcends our winters and fills our summers? How can we see Jesus in our mundane lockdown lives?

Rebecca Hoverd recently completed her studies in law and geography at The University of Auckland and loves writing as a way to communicate with God and to unpack her thoughts. She loves coffee, she’s engaged to marry the love of her life, Tim, in the summer, and would love to hear your feedback at rebeccahoverd@gmail.com.

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