This last week a friend stopped by to visit and after a few minutes asked if I had sprayed a personal fragrance. It was an uncommon question and I responded with “No, why do you ask?” He responded that he smelled something… a light fragrance. Immediately, I knew it was the “Fragrance of Christ”…which I generally expect to linger unobtrusively in the air. To clarify, I offered my friend two bottles of anointing oil which I had recently used and was immediately assured that it was neither of those fragrances. He reiterated that it was a light fragrance. Then I laughed and declared, “Oh that is the fragrance of Christ!” My friend’s facial expression intimated that this was clearly a new experience.
Then I shared a previous anecdote from a few years ago, when I was at another gathering of Christian believers. The season was a rainy, cold winter in Portland, Oregon and there were no fresh flowers in the house. We were having a discussion regarding the manifestations of the Spirit of God. One individual in attendance did not believe in the manifestations of the Spirit of GOD such as the “Fragrance of Christ” and was accusing me of “making it up” and “it all being my creative imagination.” I left the living room where we were gathered at the time and went into the kitchen to inquire of the LORD how to handle the man in the other room robed meticulously in unbelief and false accusations. After a few moments of prayer, I returned to the living room, and he asked, “Do you smell that?” I answered, “Smell what? Perhaps you could describe what you smell?” He sort of laughed sheepishly and replied, “It is like bouquets and bouquets of roses. It is very strong!” (In the moment, I remembered the fragrance of the 10,000 roses that bloom each spring at the Portland, Oregon Rose Gardens). I smiled because I just love how GOD answers questions in the most magnanimous and gracious ways. Then I reverently asked, “Are you suggesting that the fragrance is like the rose of Sharon?” He began to weep, completely overcome with joy. God had the trump card after all. And when GOD has the trump card, we all win!
“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place” (2 Corinthians 2:14, NASB).