Several weeks ago, I switched up my normal routine and went walking in the morning, thinking I might get in a brisk walk before the summer sun had a chance to heat the air beyond my ability to tolerate it. I quickly realized that I had made a couple of mistakes. One, it was already sweltering, the air thick and humid and two, it was garbage day.
Every several steps I had to hold my breath to keep from inhaling the stench from the garbage cans, many of which had been sitting out since the evening before. I would have just returned home, to walk another time, but I was mega-determined at the time that nothing was going to discourage me from walking. I continued like this most of the way until I came to an area at the back of the subdivision that went past a small reservoir. As I walked by, the slightest cool breeze came off the water, which was hidden from view by tall grasses. Aahhh.
And then, as I took a deep breath, there it was. The honeysuckle. Sweet and fragrant. Scent of my childhood. My pace slowed as I savored it, inhaling all the way to my toes.
A breath of fresh air in otherwise foul-smelling surroundings.
And from somewhere, like an echo in the back of my mind – am I the fragrance or the stench? In my day-to-day living, do I give those around me a welcome break from the rottenness in the world or do I add to it?
My desire is to be one who causes people to slow down and breathe deep. Who, even though they are having a rough day, can go on a little further because they have been refreshed.
I want them to smell Jesus on me.
Some days I fail miserably. Sometimes I am so caught up in ME that I stink up the joint.
So I wrap myself in Christ, so that His scent permeates my being. I immerse myself in His word, I listen for His voice. Because it’s not what I’m wearing, but WHO that matters most.
In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life.
2 Corinthians 2:14-16 MSG