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Storing Up

As soon as Seattle gets summer…then the back-to-school fliers seem to appear. Target, Old Navy—even Anthropologie has their fall décor on display! Whatever happened to the “lazy days of summer”???

Well, in my neighborhood, the lazy days are truly happening, school is definitely out, and all the kids can be found in the wading pool or the lake docks. Even my more formal Bible study takes a summer sabbatical so the leaders can be well rested for the year ahead.

Which brings me to this “summer” verse on my mind:

Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer. Proverbs 30:25 NIV

The ants don’t really take a break, do they? Because of the heat, I must keep the windows of my old home open. Every now and then I find an ant looking for crumbs on my desk. I can’t seem to figure out where they come from or how they evade our ant traps on the sill. Yet, I can’t fault them. When winter comes, it’s too late for them to store up their food since it’ll be too cold for them to scavenge. No lazy summer days for the ants! Here's another translation including the preceding verse:

There are four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise. The ants are a people not strong, yet they provide their food in the summer. Proverbs 30:24-25 ASV

This version equates ants to a people or nation. They are weak by most measures, yet exceeding wise, for they are known to associate and work together in large numbers, working diligently and industriously to store up their food in the right season.

This is what I’ve been thinking about this week as this summer verse popped up in front of me. I love the idea that those who work in the Kingdom of God are not meant to be alone. We are to be one people, one nation, united in one purpose to glorify God. We are not strong in ourselves; but working together with each other and with God, we are productive. In this, we are wise . . like the ants!

For example, at the end of summer, our Bible study leaders are starting to pray for the upcoming year: who God will bring, what will we discuss and teach, how worship will be done. We are storing up words of encouragement for each other and starting the process to start up a ministry again. In a way, even taking a summer break or a sabbatical replenishes and restores for strenuous seasons ahead.

I’ve been asking myself what kind of season I’m in. Are my stores depleted or are they still full? What is God wanting me to gather and store for later? What food will I need? Will I go after it diligently?

I don’t have my answers to these questions right now, and I’m not sure where the Holy Spirit is pressing me in this. But it is something to ponder as the summer season and these little ants march on.

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