“But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.”
2 Corinthians 2:14
When I lived in South Africa, many years ago, we had a jasmine creeper near near the house. Every evening as the sun was starting to go down, our garden and house were filled with the beautiful, powerful scent of the tiny white jasmine flowers. Despite the mosquitoes and creepy crawlies that would come in if we left the windows open, I couldn’t bear to close them, because I loved that scent wafting through the house.
I woke up one morning recently, and felt the weight of some personal circumstances crowding in on me – a little like darkness beginning to fall in the evening. I had just been reading that passage in 2 Corinthians, and the jasmine creeper came to mind. I was struck with this thought – the jasmine started to release its fragrance as the darkness was falling. Most other flowers close up their petals and ‘hide their faces’ in the dark.
In that moment I realised I had a choice. “Close up”, batten down the hatches and let the darkness overwhelm me, or, like the jasmine, open up to God, right there in the dark and let the fragrance all all that He is in me come out.
Writing to the church in Corinth, the apostle Paul says that because we belong to Jesus, God “uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere”.
When hard times and ‘darkness’ seem to press in on us, we can lift our faces to Him in worship. Like that Little jasmine flower, we release a sweet smelling fragrance when we worship God in our dark times as well as our good times – for no other reason other than that He is worthy!
“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”
When we do this we also show unbelievers just who it is that we place our trust in. Your hardest times are an opportunity to ‘put your faith where your mouth is and to “strengthen yourself in the Lord”, as David did. (1 Samuel 30:6) When you do this, you release something wonderful – a sweet smelling fragrance that reaches the lives of others around you.
Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:5–6 “For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
We are called to be both a light in this dark world and a sweet smelling fragrance, everywhere we go, even (ESPECIALLY) when things feel dark for us – proclaiming His goodness, His faithfulness, His salvation. Bringing hope!
When we do this, we are truly a sweet smelling fragrance to God.
I believe God leaves His ‘windows’ open, to let that sweet smelling fragrance into His courts!
Let’s be bringers of hope – a sweet smelling fragrance, everywhere we go today!