the fragrance of Christ

Editor’s note: Last weekend I smashed my finger in the door trying to get a puppy out of my house to go potty in time. Neither (closing the door quickly or getting the dog out) were successful, but I preface this (and yesterday’s) writing to apologize for all the typos due to my left index finger being twice its size. I will be fine but the typing isn’t up to par, so my apologies—just proving again how imperfect a vessel I am, I suppose.

I have always loved smells. Of all the senses, it is perhaps my most acute. I can only imagine if I were blind or had lost another sense, how much more intensely developed this sense might be. As a child, I loved the smell of rain on the hot asphalt and the smell of freshly cleaned air with a hint of the damp dirt. I loved the smell of my dad’s pipe tobacco. The smell of coffee always makes me take a deep breath and relax. So I pause a minute to take in the fragrance of Christ this morning and let the fullness of It envelop me and equip me for the day.

So many things lately have me in a spin. I try to lend comfort to those going through difficult times, but circumstances always fail us. Circumstances trip us up. I want so much to live a deeper life of Christ where circumstances don’t matter, but only to focus on the big things of Christ. It finally occurred to me that there is one answer to it all: Forget circumstances. Live for Christ. My only witness should point to Christ. He is the One and Only from Whom all blessings flow, and the only place of rest for circumstances beyond our control and power. I think I feel so ill-equipped to go to the deep places of Christ with others is why I default back into the “let’s overcome the circumstances” mode. But I found this wisdom in my morning devotion and it puts things back into perspective for me.

This morning as I was reading in 2 Corinthians (KJV), I read in chapter 2 that we are the fragrance of Christ to God. 2 Cor. 2:14-16 says:

“…thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient
for these things?”

To one we are the aroma of life and to another the aroma leading to death. And then Paul asks the question that is always relevant on my mind—WHO is sufficient for these things? Certainly, in our own power, we are not. But He who is faithful also equips us for every good work. I only read a few verses further down to the third chapter, fifth verse, and see, “Not that we are sufficient (competent) of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, (6)who also made us sufficient (competent) as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives Life.” Thanks be to God, He is Life and He gives Life and the sufficiency to be His ministers. Let us be used mightily by His equipping.


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