“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 growing 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 and I loved to leave the windows wide open to allow that scent in, despite the mosquitoes and creepy crawlies!
Recently, that jasmine creeper came to mind and closing my eyes, I could almost smell that sweet fragrance.
I was feeling 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 the above-mentioned passage in 2 Corinthians, and this thought struck me;
The jasmine flower releases its fragrance as the darkness starts to fall. 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”, hide my face, 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 of 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”.
Its easy to worship in the bright, sunny times, isn’t it? Not just as easy when darkness seems to close in. But when we worship God in those ‘dark’ times, even when we just don’t feel like it, in the midst of pain or heartache, doubt and loss, for no other reason than He is worthy; reminding our hearts of His great faithfulness and love towards us, His mercy, His grace, His goodness, the strength only He can bring in these times…slowly our drooping heads begin to lift again in worship and like that jasmine in the falling darkness we release a sweet smelling fragrance that is far reaching. It effects and touches everyone nearby.
The beautiful aroma of jasmine is unmistakable and everyone nearby is touched and effected by it. You just want to be near it! You want to pick bunches of it for your home; you’re drawn to it. So it is in the life of a true worshipper-in-hard-times.
“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.”
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. When we worship through our hardest times, as well as encouraging ourselves in the Lord, we show unbelievers in whom we place our trust. It sets you apart from the “religious person”, showing the unbeliever that you have an unshakable trust in an unshakable God!
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 like to think God throws His windows and doors wide open, to let the sweet smelling fragrance of His worshiping Beloved ones into the courts of Heaven!
Let’s be bringers of hope in dark places – a sweet smelling fragrance, everywhere we go today!