Hot Days of Summer!

summer-heatHow hot is hot? What is the hottest you’ve ever been? Do you have any heat related stories? I’ve got some, but then again, I always have stories to tell!

I’ve always been a cold weather person, so hot days are not my favorite. It seems you can always do more in the summer, but a nice, crisp, cold morning always refreshes me. When I think about the hot summer August heat, with the humidity so you can cut it with a knife….. that doesn’t sound pleasant to me at all!

When I was growing up my family went camping quite often. One summer we went with another family to a Missouri state park for the weekend. The temperatures were well into the 90’s during the day so we just sat in the Lake the entire day. Think about having to crawl into a tent to sleep. It was not something any of us wanted to do that weekend. Instead, we all got into a mini-van (10 of us) and drove for a few hours to cool down. The air-conditioning was going full blast and everyone fell asleep….except the driver. I guess it wasn’t much of a camping trip that weekend, since no one really wanted to sleep in the tent. What is sleeping in a van called? That weekend was one of many camping memories I have. And from what I am told, that mini-van never ran the same after that. HA!

Another heat memory I have is hiking down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon with my brother. I wrote about this adventure in September of 2014, so for more details, check it out. At the bottom of the Grand Canyon it was well over 110 degrees with absolutely no shade. Hiking the first few miles upward in the middle of the day, from the bottom at the Colorado River was treacherous. But we fully intended on walking to the bottom and back up in one day. It drained us of every ounce of sweat and water from our bodies. We made it to the top after hours and miles of agonizing pain in our legs. It was definitely hot during our hike!

The third story I have involves the heat right now in Texas. Texas is hot. Texas is humid. And we don’t have air conditioning in our unit. You would think every building in the state of Texas should be required to have air conditioning due to the extremely high temperatures. Nope! There are three buildings on this compound with no air conditioning, mine being one of them. The temperatures have been in the 100’s for the past few weeks with no rain for the past six weeks. My unit faces the afternoon sun. Each room has a giant window that opens up only three inches, so the Texas heat is pouring in, making it a legitimate sauna. With the temperature over 100 degrees outside, the temperature inside is 115 degrees. I try to stay outside of the building as much as I can. But once 8:30pm hits, we are required to stay in until 6:30am the next day. I usually take three or four showers during this time which helps somewhat. Even sitting in front of a fan is uncomfortable. But if one is looking to lose weight, it’s a great weight loss program! Then again, it is prison and we’re not supposed to be comfortable, right? Maybe God is preparing me for something He has planned for me in the near future involving the heat. Who knows? I am getting used to it. And I do have a “cool” story to share…..one that involves the heat.

In my unit, there is a small hallway with two offices for the counselors. Both of their offices have air conditioning in them that stays on 24/7. Cold air is constantly shooting out from under the doors. Because the cold air is seeping into the hallway, the hallway is at least 15-20 degrees cooler than the rest of the building. It’s a popular spot to sit and read and play cards when the offices are not occupied. It is also where we have been holding our nightly prayer groups which have been going on since March. Because the book readers, card players and those in the prayer group all converge in this hallway at about the same time every night, God has blessed the prayer group with large numbers the past two months. Inmates who have never prayed and aren’t even Christian have joined in. We invite them and they come…..because it’s “cool.” It has naturally led to some conversations about faith and God. Even in this heat, God is working!

So wherever you are, in whatever kind of situation……hot or cold, sad or happy, stressed or comfortable, sick or healthy…..think about what God is planning through you. I never imagined that God would bring people together in 100+ degrees, but He does. Just imagine what He can do through you in your situation!

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to the power that is at work with us. Ephesians 3:20

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