As I sat in a friend’s garden recently, the fragrance of her flowers drifted over us and cosseted my senses. There are many types of flower that release their fragrance freely all day long, while others, like lavender or rosemary, only yield their perfume when crushed. Then we have plants like the night-scented stock, which only become fragrant in the darkness. In 2018, women in Britain spent almost £1 billion on perfume, an amount that is impossible for us to comprehend or visualise. Worldwide the market was worth USD 52.7 billion, even more mind-boggling! The use of perfume is as old as the Bible, even Yahweh has His own special blend [Exodus 30:34-38]. The best fragrances are blended by experts, and thousands of flowers and plants, crushed at the height of their beauty, give generously for our pleasure.
The apostle Paul states that Yahweh, “through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place” [2 Corinthians 2:14]. Some years ago, Yahweh impressed this scripture on my heart, and I began to pray regularly that my life would fragrance my personal world. I had no idea how this could happen and wondered if there was anything I could do to promote it. One day the Holy Spirit showed me that the fragrance existed because of my knowledge of Yahshua, and the more I got to know Him, the sweeter the fragrance would become. I still pray the scripture, but with more understanding and joy, using it widely to pray for others, too.
Knowledge of Yahshua is developed through a life of service and sacrifice. “Are not the lives most redolent of the fragrance of [Messiah],” writes J. Oswald Sanders, “those who have experienced the dark and crushing experiences of life?” How true it is that our knowledge of Yahshua is enlarged and enriched by the times when we are exposed to the most painful realities. Whether at such times we sense His support, or maybe feel abandoned to the unthinkable, if we cling to His promises our knowledge of and love for Him will be immeasurably enriched. “Suffering rightly received will produce a sweetness of character” continues Sanders, “that can be produced in no other way.”