But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task? 2 Cor 2:14-16
In a few days, my daughter is going to Kindergarten. Being somewhat selfish with my time with her, I decided to take the kids to the library today. Going outside and feeling that it was actually a decent temperature and overcast skies, I quickly decided that we would go to Railroad Park first. Odd as it may be, I love this park - the feel of the wide open green space combined with my love of the city life and its hustling and bustling noises are a few of the reasons I love it so. We arrived and I opened the car door. I knew my little daughter needed a diaper change, but as soon as I opened the door I was hit in the face with a delightful aroma. My nose was overwhelmed with the pleasant smell of freshly baked bread. The smell was so strong I could not even smell the messy diaper as I changed it. The park is located near a Merita bread factory, and as I located it, I realized that I was indeed smelling wonderful yumilicious bread. Perhaps, my nose was extra sensitive to the smell because I am low carbing it until I eat birthday cake. Yes, last night it was time for the annual hubby cake making session for his birthday.
We walked down to the area of the park for the children to play, and I thought about the bread, that Jesus is the bread of life, and communion with God, feasting on His presence. I had been downwind of the bread factory and now we had arrived at the play area. The oldest two children ran ahead and were climbing. My youngest and I strolled along as I finished a phone call. I walked into the park, sat down, said goodbye, and got my baby out of her stroller. She and I began walking around and that's when I saw it. A kid had just tossed his cookies before we'd arrived. I walked around it and made sure Doodle did not step in it. We walked for a few minutes downwind of the upchuck, and I could no longer smell the bread. Instead, I smelled the pungent aroma of partially digested food. A few minutes later, not long, I rallied the kids together and we walked to another part of the park where the kids could play, and we could not see or smell the foulness.
We played in an area close to the bread factory, and slowly made our way around the park close where we had parked when we decided to go over to the third play area. I wondered as we circled away from the first area if the vomit had been cleaned since they had called for park personnel to clean it up. But I dared not go see. We arrived at the third area. The kids climbed and once again, I could no longer smell bread, but the putrid scent of regurgitated food. We were now downwind of it once again, and the smell was more powerful than the beautiful life-giving bread.
I thought of myself as having one of the two aromas: fragrant or stinky.
A fragrant life giving aroma when I've been with Him.
Or a smell of decay because I have been with Him, but the smeller with me rejects my smell as the life giving scent of Christ.
Or a foul smelling stench of a person when I've given into sin. My body not meant to digest the sin but the beautiful piece of bread that is Him.
Or the foul stench that comes with ingesting the bread and only halfheartedly taking it in only to become sick off of it, like what happens if a child eats too fast and then doesn't allow the body to digest as it should, by playing hard, fast, and furious. Trying to explain a spiritual principle I've never really thought about for example would produce a stench.
What I've learned through grace is that God accepts me as I am. He calls me fragrant and has washed the stench away. I don't have to make myself smell fragrant, or like bread, or life giving. When I start making my own self smelly, I'm creating malodor to be sure.
The requirement: I trust Him to make me fragrant and good, to make me holy. That I want Him more than I want anything else offered me.
It is my knowing Him that gives me fragrance of Him. He sets me free from the stench of my sin to smell like heavenly life giving bread.
How do you smell today?
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