Hope and the End of Summer.

I've always found the end of summer to be a moment of reflection. In some ways the start of September has always felt a little like New Year's Day, a moment where we can pause and take stock of what has happened across the sunny months. 

For many of our children the end of summer can bring a mixture of anxiety and excitement as they start at a new school or go back to a new class; the excitement of making and seeing friends and the nagging worry that it might not all be okay. For parents, the bittersweet feeling of getting back to the term time routine; but the sadness of not being able to see as much of the children. Our young people are heading to college or university for the first time, scared and excited all at once. Exams feel a lifetime ago, a page turned in June ending one chapter and opening up a new one. 

For others the summer brought space and time to reflect on what comes next. We met with Jesus at festivals and in living rooms and out in nature. We feel we had a glimpse of his heart for us and we will make plans to reach for those things. 

For many of us at Hay Hill this summer has felt significant. Some have seen family and friends begin married life. Others have seen loved ones pass on to be with Jesus. Others of us wish we could rewind to July and live the summer again, but with completely different outcomes. We'd ask for the health issues of our own or our loved ones to be different. We'd ask for a rerun that didn't involve quite so much pain. Others of us look at the summer as opportunity wasted, time lost to waiting for something that didn't show up; we reach September with regret. Others, arrive to the turning of August to September and feel no significance in the summer at all. It marks nothing but another few weeks of the life we lead; the routine, the mundane and the expected.

Whatever our summer entailed with all of the joy and tragedy that one season can bring, let us enter this season filled with hope that the God who walked with us to this point will continue with us from here. Let us cling to the hope that the author of our lives will write them to a glorious completion; life with him.

In Romans 12:9 Paul tells us to cling to what to is good. What is good? God is good. Love is good. Hope is good. However you have arrived at the end of summer choose to cling to Him, the one who loves you more than you can possibly imagine. Cling to the hope that he will continue to be with you. Hope that he has blessing for you to enjoy and to share.

There is an old phrase that describes Jesus as 'anchor of the soul.' I love it as an idea. That in spite of the tumults and tempests of life, down in the depths he is holding us safely in place, and He will not be moved. May we come to the end of the summer and fasten ourselves to that anchor that will remain strong and secure as the life around us and within us rises and falls. My we enter this season with a fresh trust in who He is and what He does.