|How pleasant it is to walk outside and smell the honeysuckle. We have banks of them behind our house. Last week I went looking for them and my untrained eye couldn’t find any. Today the vines are loaded with blooms and to find them I only need to follow their fragrance, their aroma.
We each have an aroma, a distinctive scent. Our aroma has to do with our presence, that quality that makes us who we are. We’ve all experienced the atmosphere when a rude, disgruntled person leaves the room. They leave behind an unpleasant aroma. And we’ve experienced the pleasant fragrance of someone who was gentle and thoughtful and kind.
Just as I could not distinguish the honeysuckle vines from the other wild greenery until it bloomed, so others can only know we are Believers when we have the fragrance of Christ. “For we are the sweet fragrance of Christ [which exhales] unto God, [discernible alike] among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing;” (2 Cor. 2:15 AMP)
It’s difficult to describe the presence of God. We can use words like peace, joy, a sense of light, feelings of love and comfort. But I would add to those words: fragrant. I have experienced His fragrance during a special time of great need-a time when Grace was all I had to hold on to. His presence surrounded me with a gentle fragrance sweeter than any scent I’ve ever smelled. His aroma was part of Himself.
We are a part of Him if we’ve been born again. (John 3:3) We aren’t honeysuckle vines even though sometimes our actions may look like we’ve “died back in the winter” of our humanness. We have a choice about the aroma we release. We can leave the odor of the “flesh” or the sweet aroma of Christ. If we permit it, Grace empowers us to become like Jesus. The more like Him we become, the more we leave behind a sweet aroma everywhere we go.
Martha Hedge © 2010
(this article was first published in the May 2010 newsletter)