Friday, August 14, 2020

The Fragrance of Christ


At our old home, the one we lived in for thirty years before moving here, a humble little rose bush grew in the tiny flower garden. She was one of the first things I planted when we moved into that home. In my gardening ignorance, I chose a spot that wasn’t very conducive to roses. Consequently, she never grew into the beautiful rosebush I had envisioned.

Every spring I pruned the dead branches hoping to encourage new growth, but she only got more and more fragile. She looked so forlorn, and I sometimes thought I should just dig her up and throw her away.

But then the first rose would make an appearance, and I would feel drawn to bury my face in the delicate petals and inhale the sweet aroma. It always surprised me that such a spindly looking plant could produce such a beautifully fragrant flower. I couldn’t walk past the garden without stopping to look and smell - and wonder. 

Every spring she “preached” me a little sermon, reminding me what a humble vessel  I am and the potential the Lord has placed within me. When I look at my life, it pales in comparison with others around me - those I admire and would so like to emulate. I tend to see myself as not having done great things for the kingdom. 

She gently reminds me that the important thing is to bloom where I am planted, to put down deep roots, and be a sweet fragrance to the world around me. The Father doesn’t look at me through worldly eyes, He looks for the beauty within. He does not measure greatness as the world measures greatness. He asks only that I live my life in such a way that I am the beautiful aroma of Christ to those around me. He will do the rest.

"But thanks be to God who always leads us in His triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing;" 

II Corinthians. 2: 14,15