Do you ever long for something, not really expecting to get it? You, know, just throw up a prayer without really thinking? Or simply wishing for it…
I did that this morning. I got my coffee, filled my diffuser with grapefruit and jasmine essential oils, turned it on, not even smelling it because I can’t. My sense of smell left me years ago. It just disappeared. Poof. My sniffer was gone. At first, chocolate was the first thing I noticed that didn’t satisfy me like it used to. I almost cried. But then I missed the smell of flowers and perfumes. I still remember enjoying the smell of Aqua Velva, my dad’s aftershave. And every once in a while, I could get a whiff of something, and I enjoyed the fleeting moment. On the flip side, there is some good…I can’t smell dirty diapers when the grandkids come over.
So, back to this morning. After turning on my diffuser…are you wondering why I even bother? I leave it on all day, and I always close the door when I’m done, hoping to return and fill my senses with the joy of citrus and floral scents. Occasionally, when I return to that room, where I have my morning quiet time, something magical happens, and I get a whiff. Sometimes.
This morning, I grabbed my Bible and journal. I looked through the stacks of devotionals on the shelf, and a random thought popped into my head. If I could have one wish come true, just for today, I wish that I could smell. Where that came from, I have no idea. Spontaneous thoughts don’t pop into my head. But I chuckled a bit and let it go. Usually, I read my Bible first, but this time, I opened Vol II of Spurgeon’s Sermons. My son gave me a ten-volume gift set for Mother’s Day because I mentioned that I liked one of Charles Spurgeon’s sermons. Never tell your missionary, pastor son that you admire a particular theologian or preacher of great importance. He gave me the set five years ago, and I’m only half-finished with Vol. II. Just kidding, David. I love it!
THE ROSE OF SHARON
Sermon XXI, A visit to Calvary, pg. 340 (in case you want to look it up), “He took up in his hand a piece of scented clay and said to it, Oh, clay, whence hast thou thy perfume?” and the clay said, “I was once a piece of common clay, but they laid me for a time in company with a rose, and I drank in its fragrance, and I have now become scented clay.” Believer, thou too art nothing but a piece of common clay, but if thou liest with the Rose of Sharon—if thou hast Jesus in thy company, thou wilt be a piece of scented clay, and where’er thou goest, thou wilt smell of him.” The passage continues describing aromas of myrrh, spikenard, and aloes, and the more I read, the more excited I got. God granted my wish! For one day, if I could only smell, and within minutes I did. Not with my nose, but every bit as intense with my eyes, mind, and whole being.
The phrase, ‘the rose of Sharon’ immediately heightened my memories of rose scents. Roses are my favorite flower, so I was drawn to the mention of The Rose of Sharon. I liked the analogy of Jesus being that Rose of Sharon but never paid much attention to it before. But I loved how Spurgeon says, “but if thou liest with the Rose of Sharon—. “ Spurgeon meant Jesus. So, I cross-referenced and studied scriptures, and I learned that most theologians disagree with the analogy of the Rose of Sharon (only mentioned in the Song of Solomon 2:1) being Jesus. I also learned that the Rose of Sharon is not a rose but is in the botanical family of Hibiscus.
Subsequently, in Israel, that’s probably not even the same flower. The plain of Sharon is a large fertile valley, home to many beautiful flowers (so I’ve read), and it’s a crocus-like flower that most likely represents the Rose of Sharon. Hope you liked the science and geography lesson. It’s the homeschooling mom coming out in me.
Anyway, still, I loved the rest of what Spurgeon says, “—if thou hast Jesus in thy company, thou wilt be a piece of scented clay, and where’er thou goest, thou wilt smell of him.”
Me. A clump of clay. How I long to be a scented lump, that fragrance of Jesus. I’ve been around people who are, and they are the first I’ll go to when I need prayer. I know that His Word is their lamp, I know that they live by what the Bible says, and yet I know that, like all of us, they’re not perfect, but Jesus is. And his sweet aroma permeates their world for the rest of us to enjoy. A lofty goal. To be the pleasing fragrance of Jesus. But in His righteousness, and one day in heaven, we will be just that. Not so much the smell, but the sweet sensation and joy that comes from a living aroma, Jesus.
BE IMITATORS OF GOD
My wish for the day, though it was granted in ways I couldn’t imagine, has changed. I wish to be more like Jesus, every day. Let’s purpose to spend even more time with Him. Meditate on Him. Smell his perfume with your eyes, with your mind, and if you can, take a whiff with your nose. Drink Him in. He’ll change your life forever. He’s been doing that to me for a long time, and I am forever grateful.
“So be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma.” Galatians 5:1-2