A Spiritual Lesson From My Obsession With Basil

"But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him." 2 Corinthians 2:14

I have become obsessed with basil. I credit its intense aroma and flavor for rejuvenating my lackluster interest in cooking. I am even thinking of growing the plant myself. You would not understand how amazing that thought is until you realize that I kill every plant in my care. My father-in-law gave me two cacti plants, assuring me that I could not kill them. Ummmm....they both are deader than doornails. So for me to understand my horrible track record with plants and still consider raising basil is quite a statement to how much I adore this little plant.

Basil smells wonderful in the package. Ask my sister about my obsession with perfume. I can barely tear myself away from something that tantalizes my nose - whether that is food or a fragrance. I have been known to take the basil out of the package and inhale as deeply as I can.

I have tried several new recipes calling for this pungent leaf. In all of them, I have been instructed to chop the basil. As I have applied my knife to the tender green leaves and cut away on the chopping board, the aroma of the basil has overtaken my kitchen. That scent has made me anticipate the meal ahead. The heat of the pan allows the flavor of the leaf to become even more noticeable. There is no doubt by the time the dish is done that basil is a part of the dish.

I stood there over my cutting board thinking today of how the preparation of basil contains a spiritual lesson. Basil is of no use to me and my culinary efforts if it remains in the package. It just looks like a bunch of green leaves. It is not until the knife and the heat are applied that the basil does what it was intended to do - flavor the dish. The Lord uses the knife and heat of trials on me, too. What is my purpose? Not to sit in my package unused. Like basil, I will wither, turn brown, and never know the abundant life He promised me if I am not used. I am to be the aroma of Christ to a dying world who desperately needs to know that Jesus is the answer for life's difficulties. But the only way that that is accomplished is by the Lord releasing that wonderful fragrance in me that is Him through the trials He has ordained for His glory.

Jesus, help me not to dread the knife and fire. You work all things in my life to release the glorious fragrance of Yourself in me to others.