The Shrine, by John William Waterhouse
The Amazon best-selling fragrance list this Christmas includes Light Blue by Dolce & Gabbana, Euphoria, Eternity, Lovely, Our Moment, Paris Hilton, and Vera Wang Princess. The list is long and changes by the hour, as fickle as you please. I use to put on subtle Muguet de Bois and timeless Oscar de la Renta before I developed chemical allergies.
Several years just after we were married, my husband and I were driving through the night in Florida. I was asleep in the back of our converted, hippie van but was awakened out of a sound sleep by the most amazing, delicious fragrance. We couldn’t see the source because it was still dark, but it enveloped us.This heady fragrance enticed (that is the only word that describes) us for miles and miles along the highway in Pinellas County, Florida, and we couldn’t stop inhaling. We were so drawn to that delightful scent, and we just had to find out what it was. We were in the heart of the blooming citrus groves of spring.
Your Signature Fragrance
I love fragrances. Of course, it is a matter of what smells good to you, but I relish the smell of spring after a rain shower. Bread baking. Horses and leather. Lily of the Valley. A clean, warm baby after a nap. Fresh cut herbs. There are many I could name, and I am sure you have your favorites.
When we experience different smells, they can do one of two things. They can either make us wrinkle up our noses or delight us and make us want to sniff some more.
“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love as Christ also has loved us, and given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.“ ~Ephesians 5:1-2
How many times have I not been God’s sweet-smelling perfume and instead really stunk up the place? How often have I turned people off not just from me, myself and I, but also from Christ because of my malodorous, sinful condition, or worse, my lack of love, my failure to extend grace?
“Dead flies putrefy the perfumer’s ointment and give off a foul odor.” ~Ecclesiastes 10:1a
Dead things rot, putrefy, and stink. Carrying pride, vanity, selfishness, unforgiveness, worry, controlling spirit, or impatience ( to name a few) around in our hearts surely doesn’t make us beautiful to be around. When we put the things of this world in place of keeping our hearts and minds on our Lord, sin creeps in and our personal aroma is a foul odor.
That’s when I remind myself God never gives up on me. Even when I sin, He still has marvelous plans for me…plans to advance His kingdom and not lessen it.
It’s a constant struggle. I will always wear the scars of my past failures – times before I came to know the Lord (BC) and times afterward (AD) when I could have loved as Jesus loved, but instead created the stench of my toxic indifference, impatience, or unthinking words.
I pray and ask God every day for more grace, to be filled up in it, to perfume myself with it until I am ready to go out into the world and draw people closer to Him. His grace changes my weaknesses, my betrayals into something He can use for His glory. He redeems my sins. And with His love, He can use me for what is good and true.
My Sweet Rose (a.k.a The Soul of a Rose), by John William Waterhouse
It is my desire that we would all have this sweet-smelling aroma, the aroma of Christ, so that we can all say:
“Thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life.”
~2 Corinthians 2:14-16
So, what will you choose as your signature fragrance? Which one will you put on? Please join me as I choose the fragrance of Christ Jesus and may it be evident in our relationships in and out of our homes for the glory of God. Ask Him for the power to do it today…right now.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” ~Galatians 5: 22-23
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