day. Usually, even though I use it a lot, it becomes a shrub, and I must cut four cups at a time making pesto every couple of weeks to keep up with it.
This year I had to ration it in things like my orzo salad with grape tomatoes, green onions, pine nuts, feta, and basil, and the cherry tomato salad with basil, fresh mozzarella, garlic, and balsamic vinegar. Pesto was not even in the forecast, and my late summer marinara may be blander than it has ever been before.
Basil is one of the easiest herbs to grow. Being Mediterranean, it can take the Florida heat and humidity. It may wilt on a hot summer afternoon, but recovers quickly in the evening and looks like new the next morning. It can handle the worst of circumstances. It doesn’t even have its own particular pest like parsley has parsley worms. So what is the problem this year? We watered it during the dry weather and fertilized it as usual. I have no idea what happened. Maybe I took it for granted that it was a strong plant needing no special care.
Strong Christians can be like that. People get so used to them being strong
that no one checks on them, no one asks how things are going, no one gives them an encouraging word—that’s what they are supposed to do.
When was the last time you patted an elder on the back and thanked him
for his work, maybe even apologized for any trouble or worry you might have
caused him? When was the last time you sent him a note or a card of appreciation? How about his wife? She must not only deal with some of the same problems he does, but watch the effect of it all on him—distress etching lines in his face, frustration turning his hair gray a bit too early, his smile all but disappearing over the sorrow for lost souls.
How about the preacher? Even people who don’t mean anything by it can say hurtful things, can judge harshly, and can expect the impossible—perfection.
Preachers and their wives must watch their children grow up too early as
they see their father mistreated over and over, everywhere they go. It’s a wonder any of them stay faithful.
The worst thing you can do to a strong Christian is tell him or her that you know he is strong and can take anything. Sometimes they can’t. Sometimes it just gets to be too much, and instead of having brethren who will pull them out of the abyss, they must climb out all by themselves because no one thinks they need any help.
Find a strong Christian today and do them a favor--forget they are strong. Treat them as if they needed a boost and then give them one. They will appreciate it more than you can imagine.
[And Jehovah said] Charge Joshua and encourage him and strengthen him, for he shall go over before this people and he shall cause them to inherit this land which you shall see, Deut 3:28.
Wherefore brethren, exhort one another and build each other up, even as you also do. But we beseech you brethren, know those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and who admonish you. to esteem them highly in love for their work’s sake, 1 Thes 5:11-13.
[Paul said] Finally brethren, pray for us…2 Thes 3:1.