Thursday, July 9, 2015

Do You Smell Like a Rose?

I love roses! This year, the roses in front of my house have been flourishing. One bush that we thought was dead has been particularly spectacular. This spring, we pruned it down to a few inches. Soon, it put out new branches, and ten gorgeous roses bloomed on that one bush at one time.

Rose and bud from my garden
Recently, I came across a an interesting story about roses. At one time, the Balkans supplied 1,000 roses a week for the kings of Europe. Growers were required to go through a seven-year training period.

They learned that roses, to be at their best, must be picked between midnight and 3 a.m. but never when the moon was full. Roses must always be picked when it was the darkest. No flashlights could be used because any light would change their disposition.

So, how could the growers find the roses that were ready to be picked? By the full development of the fragrance!

G. Campbell Morgan, a well-known preacher of years gone by, tells of visiting in the home of a friend. In one room he always detected the fragrance of roses. One day, he asked his friend, "How is it that I never come into this room without smelling roses?"

His friend smiled. "Ten years ago I was in the Holy Land, where I bought a small phial of attar of roses. It was wrapped in cotton wool. As I was standing in here unpacking it, I accidentally broke the bottle. I took the whole thing, cotton wool and all, and put it into this vase."

That fragrance had so permeated the clay of the vase that it was impossible to enter that room without smelling the scent of roses.

A rose from my garden
Christ is called the Rose of Sharon. When He truly dwells in us, His fragrance will pervade and permeate our whole lives so that we are like a "sweet smell that spreads everywhere, [and] God uses us to make Christ known to all men" (2 Corinthians 2:15, NIV). The more time we spend in His presence, the more fragrant our lives become.

Just as the fragrance of roses comes to full development in the dark, it is in our darkest hours in the trials of this life that we give off the sweetest fragrance of Christ abiding in us. I want to remember that when hard trials come my way.

As rose petals are crushed, the fragrance is released. As the trials crush us, what is inside us becomes apparent to all.

When I am jostled or crushed, I want the life-giving perfume of Christ to be released from my innermost being? How about you?

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