I took a much-needed break at the very beginning of the summer and spent several days at Edisto Island. The weather was perfect. Perfect temperature. Perfect breeze.
There is just something about the ocean breeze, and the sound of the ocean. Oh, the sound of those crashing waves. In no time at all, I had dropped into a level of relaxation that I had almost forgot existed. I experienced rest within every part of my being! And as I took a walk along the beach that very first day, I decided that I needed to immediately eliminate everything in my life that had been causing me stress.
There is something present at the ocean that is so relaxing, so peaceful, that it causes one to enter into a glorious rest that is both soothing and invigorating all at the same time. And once experienced, you are sure that you cannot live without it.
Ah, that special something about the beach… The warmth of the sun certainly felt good on my skin. The ocean breeze was surely delightful. The truth is that the sound and sight of the ocean always causes me to sense the absolute majesty of my God, my Creator.
Mesmerized, I watched as the tide came in and went back out. I watched and listened to the crashing of the waves upon the rocks and upon the shore. I watched as the waves displaced and moved the rocks and sand from one place to another, even delving out new places within the overall landscape. Everything they touched began to change. What power they have! What power He has! There at the ocean, I feel His presence. I sense His nearness. My heart has a fresh reverence and awe of Him in these moments. My sense of time seems to suddenly slow down. I am aware. Aware of Him. Aware of everything. And I am awake. I am fully awake.
There is also something else that I am distinctly aware of. I am aware of a fragrance. There is a distinct smell or aroma there at the ocean that I am very aware of. I cannot exactly describe it. And I cannot pinpoint it either. It’s not the fragrance of my suntan lotion. It’s not the smell of the sand or the water. It is the sea air! And this glorious fragrance is part of the whole. It is part of this whole scene and this whole environment which causes me to be at this level of rest, peace, and calm delight!
Again, I took a long, deep breath. And another one. I was taking it all in as I sat there on the beach. I opened my Bible to where I had left off in my reading the day before, picking back up with 2 Corinthians chapter 2. And I began to read a passage that caused me to feel as though God had set me up. It was a passage that I meditated on for the rest of the weekend.
“Now 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 being 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…” – 2 Corinthians 2:14-16
We are the fragrance of Christ.
I wanted to park right there and continue to meditate on these scriptures. I pulled up the Amplified translation on my phone and read it again.
14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us spreads and makes evident everywhere the sweet fragrance of the knowledge of Him. 15 For we are the sweet fragrance of Christ [which ascends] to God, [discernible both] among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; 16 to the latter one an aroma from death to death [a fatal, offensive odor], but to the other an aroma from life to life [a vital fragrance, living and fresh]. And who is adequate and sufficiently qualified for these things?
Yes. Christ, too, has a fragrance. It’s a fragrance that is distinct and discernible. It’s recognizable. It is an air that creates offense among those who are living in sin and rebellion. Yet to those who are seeking Him, those who need Him and are open to His working in their lives, it is an aroma that is refreshing and invigorating. It makes His very existence evident. It makes His presence irresistible and His power undeniable. It is a vital fragrance that brings life! And it is vital that you and I disseminate this fragrance everywhere we go!
The Message Bible says, “Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God.” – And it goes on to say that “this is a terrific responsibility.” – verse 16
Indeed, it is a great responsibility.
We have a great responsibility, a terrific responsibility, to disperse the aroma and fragrance of Christ. What is behind this fragrance is much like those powerful waves in that Christ has the power to move things and change things, rearrange things, uproot things and move them from one place to another, even making a way where there seems to be no way. Knowing and experiencing Christ has the potential to bring great rest, peace, and a delightful calm to a troubled soul. Moments in His presence can both soothe and invigorate the heart. His power has the ability to transform lives. Everything He touches no longer remains the same. It is Christ who brings new life. And once a person encounters Him, they will be sure that they cannot live a day without Him.
We come into contact with people daily, everywhere we go, who need what we already have. Those who are down trodden, those who have lost all hope, those who are lost and undone, and those who are bound. We know Christ and His transforming power in our own lives. We have experienced His faithfulness and His lovingkindness. We know this joy and this peace. What freedom we have because of Christ! We know Him. And if we have been abiding with Him, then we can be sure that we are carriers of this sweet- smelling aroma. His powerful, lingering fragrance is recognizable to those who we come into contact with. It’s recognizable to both those who know they need Him and those who don’t. Today, let’s become more keenly aware than ever before of the exquisite aroma of Christ. Let’s make sure that we are wearing His fragrance. And then let’s slow down enough for others to catch His scent.
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