With winter passed, the warmer months of summer, and early fall provide most areas an ongoing blooming process. The delight brings with it lovely floral fragrances. Chemists and perfumers learned centuries ago, starting with the Egyptians that they could profit well in the sale of bottled fragrances.
Mary, who loosed her crowning glory of hair, broke open a little white box of alabaster that permeated the house where she washed Jesus’s feet with costly fragrance and dried his feet with her hair. Though she slipped into the party quietly, uninvited, there was no doubt that the act of serving her Savior was one of worship; the sweet odor was no cheap gift. She offered a beautiful fragrance in an equally beautiful alabaster box, small in size yet largely permeating in her ministry of love. (See Luke 7).
Jesus our Master Gardener tends to our care. He wants us to bloom beautifully where we are—and sometimes he reintroduces us to new soil. He’s re-planted me in so many places! I used to wonder why? Then, I learned that Scripture admonishes us in 2 Corinthians 2:15 that we are to God the fragrance of Christ. Isn’t that awesome? When He makes us of such sweet odor, O, such joy! The aroma is that which leads others to Jesus; it’s the fragrance of God’s salvation, wooing us unto Him.
Of course, that very fragrance that can bless so many is a stench to those who don’t desire to give their hearts to Jesus. The Message Bible emphasizes that aspect. And though that knowledge is disappointing, it also reveals to us that He loves us deeply to allow us to be used so exquisitely that we can be considered as Christ’s perfume. So I accepted the “why” I used to wonder about, not with worthiness but with gladness. Yes, the Jesus-fragrance is given to us not to selfishly stash away but to share with others.
I recall my friend Em, who lived to the century mark. In her lovely yard there grew a flourishing rose bush that her father dug up and balled in Missouri, one he’d planted several years before, to transport to Ohio when they relocated. She was just a young child. Then, somewhere along the way in her marriage, she dug it and re-planted it again at new acreage when the family homestead was sold. The first sight to greet you as you entered her property was the rose bush—and its fragrance pleased the senses. My friend emulated this sturdy, sweet-smelling bush so well. She and her rose bush became as mentors to me. There seemed to be nothing old about either and the mentoring added vitality to my life.
Living as fragrant humans, we must provide much joy for God. As He watches us bloom into people being saved for His kingdom, our fragrance surely must put a smile on His face.