In the days when we were homeschooling our four boys here in the valley, we’d occasionally take a “field trip” with another homeschooling family. Sometimes our trip was just a visit to their house so the kids could play and we Moms could catch up on news or share time in the Word and in prayer.
We’d arrive home and a fragrance would follow us in the door — the distinctive scent of my friend’s Patchouli oil. It clung to our clothes, hair, shoes, my Bible, anything that had been with us during our visit. It even scented our car if we’d traveled somewhere together.
The lingering scent wasn’t the only evidence of time spent in the presence of this special family. Our hearts would be lighter, our countenance brighter and we moved through the rest of our day with the joy and strength that come from love shared. At the end of the day, even my husband noticed our improved dispositions and caught the scent, and he knew where we’d spent the afternoon.
I was reminded of that fragrance recently as I read about the first disciples of Christ.
“When the Council saw the boldness of Peter and John, and could see that they were obviously uneducated non-professionals, they were amazed and realized what being with Jesus had done for them!” Acts 4:13 (TLB)
The men had already performed a miracle in the strength of their Teacher (healing a man lame from birth) and the Council was eager to stop them from “spreading their propaganda.” But Peter and John would not be deterred in their mission to bring The Good News to the people of Jerusalem.
“You decide whether God wants us to obey you instead of him! We cannot stop telling about the wonderful things we saw Jesus do and heard him say.” vs. 19-20
When Peter and John were released from captivity and returned to their people, they shared what had happened. Immediately, the believers went to prayer. They asked God not just for protection, but for even more boldness to preach the Gospel!
“….send your healing power, and may miracles and wonders be done by the name of your holy servant Jesus.” vs. 30
They had been with Jesus and they wanted more of Him — more of his strength and boldness, more of his miracles — whatever the personal cost. God, in his wisdom, not only equipped the men to do his work, he left his mark on them so that they would be recognized as belonging to him. They looked and acted differently because they had walked with Christ.
When I spend time with Jesus, when I draw close to him, sit in his lap and turn my face to him so that I can hear his words, I come away with the fragrance of HIM clinging to my spirit.
I am still the same sinful, broken, imperfect me, but I’m saturated with the scent of the One who is without sin, who heals the broken and who is perfection. I am emboldened to share Jesus with others because I believe they recognize the source of my joy.
They are drawn to the scent of my Savior.
Of course, too long spent away from my Lord and the fragrance fades, the strength and joy are dimmed. Others might not even suspect who claims my heart.
In this bright beginning of another year, I have a renewed hunger to be in the presence of Jesus, to soak up his spirit so that others will know “what being with Jesus has done for ME.”
Join me in his presence and let the sweet fragrance of Jesus permeate your soul as you endeavor to spend time with him, gaining strength and boldness to go forth and do his work.
(You can download a six-month Bible reading plan that will take you through the New Testament, from Acts to Revelation, and into Psalms, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes here: http://www.backtothebible.org/6-month-bible-reading-challenge)