The Fragrance

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

2 Corinthians 2:15-16 – For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. (ESV)

The other day, I walked into a room in our new home and was struck by the delicate scent of my wife's perfume lingering in the atmosphere. It made for a pleasant change from the smell of electric motor and the carpet that I had just been vacuuming.

Usually one has to get up quite close to a loved one before becoming aware of their fragrance, because our senses have been accustomed to their aroma — so much so that it has to be quite strong before we perceive it. This is because our sensory system can be desensitized by a cognitive filter process known as deletion.

Another example might be a sensory input, such as sitting on a chair long enough to be aware that the nerve sensation feedback of the act of sitting has itself disappeared, and there is no longer any sensation from that region — until we move!

For someone like me, who has been in the kingdom of God for a long time, I too fall victim to a similar phenomenon of taking the presence of Jesus in my life so much for granted that occasionally I no longer recognize its distinctiveness. It is not that Jesus is not there with me; it is that His presence has become a familiar part of my life just long enough for me to think it might be a part of me, even after He has gone!

In my case, this does not last very long, because I am easily sidetracked by the world. Then, as I make a move, I am aware that there is someone missing!

O the joy of the refreshing presence of Jesus, clear and distinct to us once more as we come into His presence and ask forgiveness by His grace!

Prayer: Lord, do not treat us as our sins deserve. Forgive us when we move on without You, taking it for granted that You might be bent according to our will. We rejoice to know the sweetness of Emmanuel. May we once more come into a new day with You, and may Your presence pervade us. Amen.

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Rod Marshall <>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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