2 Corinthians 2:14
14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere.
The dishes were always the same, and you could smell them before opening the door; that’s what made the holidays special! We marveled at my grandmother’s cooking. Of course she was from a generation that knew how to cook without following a detailed recipe. Thank goodness this “gene” passed down to my mother who is also a phenomenal cook. Let’s just say I didn’t quite get that gene; I received a recessive trait where I love to cook and bake but recipes are required and I’m fine with that, ha!
The smells, however, transcended holidays at my grandmother’s house. As a child, it was commonplace to take a nap in the living room on a pallet while falling asleep to the Days of Our Lives theme song. Upon awakening, we would find a piece of spearmint gum under our pillow waiting for us; we loved grandmother’s gum! This is probably why I buy the same type of gum today. The smell takes me back to carefree summers, endless talks, and frozen times.
Decades later, I have intermittent experiences where I can still smell the (since removed) wood paneling and polyester jackets from my grandmother’s house as I walk through the door. How? I bought her house sixteen years ago, and God has a way of slowing us down through remembrance. Oh the aroma. It’s enough to stop me in my tracks before placing my car keys on the table or taking off my lab coat. I look around and simply…remember!
Hebrews 12:1 tells us, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…” This verse brings me to a time of remembrance of those who have gone before me, the great patriarchs of our faith: Abraham, Issac, Jacob. I also think of the warriors like Noah, Moses, David and of course the disciples. My mind then races to the strength of Deborah, Esther, Mary, and Rachel. But then my heart pounds when I think of the Author and Perfecter of our faith – JESUS!
As the aroma lingers in my mind, I can’t help but think of the strength of my grandmother as well. I come from a very strong line of both men and women in my family. I attribute my leadership skills to these familial lines. However, as much as I “hate” to admit it (with a smile) the women outnumber the men in our family; it’s a running joke during family gatherings. They are intelligent, bold, successful, strong, courageous, and independent. However, one thing my entire family has that supersedes all of these characteristics…they have Jesus!
I am blessed to come from a long line of strong believers. It’s one thing to say that my family is smart, beautiful, courageous, and independent, but those characteristics won’t get you into heaven. And let’s be frank…it’s MORE than just securing a “ticket” to get into heaven! Becoming a Christ-follower is experiencing life here on earth to the fullest while loving God and loving people! You can only accomplish your true purpose if you truly die to yourself. True peace comes by giving up your rights and serving others.
As I sit here, in my grandmother’s house, I can’t help but think that the aromas that I smell mean more than physiological consciousness to remembrance. No. The aroma I really smell is that of generations before me who sacrificed their lives to live as Christ followers spreading the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere as it says in our passage above [2 Corinthians 2:14].
Oh thank you Jesus that I come from a familial line who shares the faith with boldness and passion! This was not by accident. Wherever you find me, I pray that you will smell the aroma of Christ Jesus billowing from my presence and not of myself but of the Holy Spirit in me. May His aroma be pleasing and attractive to spread His knowledge everywhere I go.
Smells have a way of evoking the deepest of memories because they take a direct path to the limbic system unlike the other senses [YES I went scientific on you!]. THIS is why I find this passage so thought-provoking. GOD KNEW!
His aroma of TRUTH takes a DIRECT PATH to FREEDOM.
You only need to accept it.
Challenge: Be salt, light, and GOD’S AROMA this week as you encounter people everywhere!