Happy summer! Summer’s official first day is Saturday, June 21st, and by now garden days are lush yet beginning to languish in the heat. Enjoy this excerpt from the NIV God’s Word for Gardeners Bible, from the weekly theme of Seasons in the Garden Stories section.
So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes,
were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. ~Daniel 3:21
Read: Daniel 3:10 – 29
Thicken the Plot: Isaiah 43:1 – 3; 2 Timothy 3:10 – 11; Revelation 14:12
Perhaps it’s a bit dramatic to compare a heat wave in summer to the experience of Daniel’s friends, thrown into the fiery furnace. But week after week of one-hundred degree days can seem like a furnace. The temperate days of spring and autumn bring rains to the promised land, and we too are refreshed at the equinoxes by decent temperatures. Yet the summer solstice sends us traveling to bearable places, not to the garden. But enough complaining. We don’t see Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego whining or worried as they endured their torture, steadfast and loyal to God and his ways; certain that God would deliver, and accepting if he chose not to (Daniel 3:17 – 18). These men never doubted God’s ability, even as the flames grew hotter. They never stopped trusting him, having patience to endure even this near-hopeless circumstance (2 Timothy 3:10 – 11).
Basil is such a plant in the summer garden, enduring the heat gracefully, growing steadfastly. Faithful and fragrant through season’s end of what seems like eternally hot days, basil rises tall and bushy, filling out with luxuriant green leaves… Basils are primarily annuals that glory in hot weather . . . Basils put out in the garden before the weather is really warm will just sit there and suffer.
— Rosalind Creasy, The Edible Herb Garden, 1999
Though the plant dilly-dallies along in spring, it steps up to the arriving heat, unharmed by the scorching afternoon sun, remaining fresh and unwithered though the heat presses on (Jeremiah 17:8). A mere brush with its pungent leaves makes us want to linger, despite the sweat beads quickly forming, and tend and keep this endearing plant. Beautiful basil, you stand sentinel in our gardens, testifying to the patient endurance God wants to yield in us (Revelation 14:12). We need to be ready for what is coming next, in
our daily routine or in eternity.
Prayer: Father, your miraculous provision preserved Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace. May I be as trusting as they when life’s circumstances threaten to burn through my resolve. May I turn to you in trust, standing strong under the heat of difficulty, trusting only in your care and provision.
Photo Credit:© 2014 Shelley S. Cramm Basil thrives in the heat of summer, a garden reminder of the patient endurance God produces in us.