“Summer – In the Northern Hemisphere, the usually warmest season of the year, occurring between spring and autumn, constituting June, July and August.” I had to look that definition up in light of what we’ve experienced in the Edmonton area the past month and a half. We have rarely experienced summer.
Some weather person noted that in the past 47 days, the Edmonton area has had only 3 days without rain. And it’s not warm rain. It’s cold. I have actually had the heat on in my office – in July! I know that might sound like a unique exciting experience to some of you – it’s not. Another weather person said that a massive high weather system circulating between the Manitoba Ontario border. It’s so strong that it hasn’t been displaced. So cold weather fronts from the west just circle back when they meet it. Warm fronts coming from the south bypass it and go east. Thus you Ontario folk are enjoying a tremendous summer experience. We, in Edmonton are “enjoying” a tremendous autumn experience during summer. (Or it could be because Edmonton is cursed because of the evil Oilers).
So how do we deal with cloudy, rainy, cool days when we expect hot summer days? More generally how do we live with joy when we experience unmet expectations or fail to experience desired outcomes? Well we may feel some disappointment or sadness. We must also step back and ask “in who or in what situation have I placed my joy/happiness/satisfaction/contentment?”
If our contentment depends on the weather, then we depend on something we have absolutely no control over. In this area of Alberta, unpredictable summers are actually par for the course. If we hope another person responds in a certain way, our contentment depends on him or her.
There’s an amazing verse in the Bible that we need to ponder. Philippians 4:11-12 – “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” What? How?
Philippians 4:13 – “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” So he turns to Christ and depends on Jesus’ strength for contentment whatever the circumstance.
So let’s apply this to this “summer” in Edmonton. Though we have had few hot summer days, we do have lots of water – clean water. Many people in the world only have access to contaminated water. The continuous rain has led to thriving gardens and crops. It provides an abundance of food. We have no civil war to flee. We still have roofs over our heads, power in our homes, access to others through the loosening of pandemic restrictions and above all we have the Lord. He sustains prisoners in dark dungeons and people who’ve fled to caves. He has blessed many of us with an abundance beyond what most of the world’s population could even dream. In any and every circumstance, we can learn this secret to constant contentment by asking for Christ’s strength.
“Lord God, it’s easy to complain and be discontent. We see multiple examples of how to do that. We’ve done it in ourselves. Help us to learn the secret of contentment through dependence on your strength.”