But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.  II Corinthians 2:14

It was Christmas Eve and I was about 8 years old.  This was always a special night in our family as my cousins and we joined together with our grand-patriarch and grand-matriarch to celebrate the gifts of one another and usher in the blessings beneath the tree.  We could always count on cookies, cakes, pies and mints to raise the bar on excitement.  With eight grand children, four parents and themselves, my grandparent’s two bedroom home was guaranteed to be cozy.  But this Christmas Eve was going to be THE Christmas Eve I would never forget!

As we all were sitting around, sipping hot apple cider and enjoying orange-sliced cookies (we didn’t know any better), picking random lengths of thread and pins from the carpet left over from grandma’s sewing . . . it struck!  Everything smells like Christmas Eve one second and in a blink of an eye my nose began screaming a different story!  The worst smell that had ever crossed my senses in my lowly eight years had inescapably engulfed my whereabouts.  It was so unpleasant that I panicked!  For me, you see, life was coming to an end because the only possible explanation for that stench was death.  It took lots of convincing, but eventually I trusted all things were going to be just fine.  The most believable was the moment when my grandpa came through the front door holding his favorite 22 rifle.  It was his weapon of choice to combat the squirrels from his pecan trees in the front yard.  As he gently closed the front door behind him, he said, “I got him and we won’t be smelling him again!”  Everyone laughed, but you can only imagine what flashed in my mind not knowing it was an animal.  Luckily it wasn’t long before someone explained it was a skunk.  Needless to say, every time I smell a skunk I think of Christmas Eve at my grandparents.  Grandpa protected me!

That sort of smell will make you run for cover!  Get away and stay away!  But the smell of more pleasant things draws us in for more . . . for instance:

the smell of homemade bread, the smell of my wife’s favorite perfume, the smell of fresh leather, the smell of honeysuckle, the smell of an ocean breeze, the smell of a new car, the smell of good bar-b-que, the smell of cinnamon, the smell of your favorite candle, the smell of your child’s freshly washed hair, the smell of freshly cut wood, the smell of hyacinth to only name a few of the many that grab my attention.

And to think, this is exactly how God wants me to dispense the sweet aroma of Christ everywhere I go.  God leads this “triumphal procession” and with it, Christ through me, in me, of me, about me radiates!!  He didn’t ask me to place on display my junk, my circumstances or my sin . . . instead, He is celebrating as I do when I enter a home and smell bread in the oven, or as I do when I smell that ocean breeze, or as I do when I savor the smell of hickory on an empty stomach!  Praise be to God, who always leads me!

Lord Jesus, this is a lesson that hits home with me.  As you know the smell in the rooms I’ve entered as of late have not always been sweetened by the fragrance of your knowledge.  Instead it has been, through my attitude, a skunk-like odor!  I thank you God, for leading the triumphal procession before me always!  May others draw near because of the sweetness of your fragrance from Christ in me!

. . . and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.  Ephesians 5:2

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