So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day. Genesis 1:27-31

Are you enjoying the summer? The yard is full of colorful flowers. Crickets are singing, birds chirping, and you can smell someone’s barbecue grill. It is so pleasant! Wouldn’t it be great if you could enjoy these things all the time? In most parts of the world, though, summer is followed by fall, and fall is followed by a cold, dark winter.

In many places, both near us and far away, people live in a sort of “spiritual winter” that never ends. In their winter world, there is no grace of God, no relief from the sting of conscience, no hope for a better future in life, no hope of a life of any kind after death. There is no promise of spring any time in the future. It is to these people near and far that our missionaries offer God’s Word and his love—each and every day. God made a world where people could be happy and comfortable all the time. God wanted people to enjoy his creation. Because of sin, the world is not the perfect world God created. It is still a beautiful world, though, because it is filled with gifts that God gives us to enjoy.

Sometimes we are tempted to complain about God’s gifts. The weather is too cold. Or the food we have is not fun to eat. Our summer vacation may be too short. We’d like more clothes or nicer furniture. When we are tempted to complain, remember what God says to us about all his gifts in the beginning after their creation: “It was very good.”  Share God’s goodness with someone you know.

Prayer: Lord, help us to be thankful when we forget about your goodness. Remind us to look to your Word to show us your love every day of our lives. Bless our missionaries as they bring your Word to people trapped in spiritual winter, and help us also to share the goodness of God’s love in Jesus Christ with someone. Amen.

Deb Bakken
Minnesota Valley Circuit