Truths for Today:
The Dog days of Summer
We are smack dab in the middle of the "dog days of summer." Have you ever wondered where that phrase came from? In our culture, the dog days are defined as being the hottest part of the summer – typically from mid-July to the end of August. (Although, along the gulf coast, they stretch from mid-June to mid September!)
In the time of the ancient Egyptians and, later the Romans, the dog days were related to the constellation Canis Major, which means large dog, and its brightest star Sirius. During July and August, Sirius rose in the sky at dawn and was bright enough to be visible.
The Egyptians and Romans believed that Sirius was so bright it heated the earth. During the "dog days" it added its heat to the heat of the sun, causing the very hot, dry weather experienced in July and August. Hence, the "dog days of summer."
We still use this phrase today—the Farmer's Almanac even refers to it. But we know the stars in the heavens have nothing to do with the heat of the summer. To be boring with physics for a minute, our hot summers are caused by the fact that the earth tilts closer to the sun during those months.
Superstition, work of the God's, the tilt of the earth—we don't think about those things when summer comes. We hide in our cool houses and keep our eyes fixed on the promise of fall.
Seasons come and go. The pattern of nature is consistent and dependable. We don't have to rely on the stars to predict the ebb and tide of the year. Listen to the words of the Lord in Genesis 8:22:
"As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease."
God created the heavens and the earth. He established the patterns in nature and He sustains them. He measured out the distance from the earth to the sun and He maintains it. Every season has its particular joy and purpose.
The cold of winter gives birth to the beauty of spring. The heat of summer gives rise to the beautiful colors of fall. God, in His power and wisdom has ordained the seasons and we can trust in His faithfulness to sustain the design of the universe.
Why do we trust the sun's rising in the morning and setting at night and yet we struggle to trust God with our days? The One who's powerful enough to command the movement of the sun and moon is powerful enough to control the events in our lives. The One whose might is great enough to establish and sustain order in the universe is mighty enough to bring order to our days and sustain us in our journey. The One who designed the heavens and earth to glorify His name can design our lives to bring Him glory.
In all the vastness on the universe, you are His treasured possession. He isn't captivated by the beauty of the heavens, He's delighted at the sight of your face. His eyes and His heart are always toward you.
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. Psalms 8:4-5