by: Carole L. Haines
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)
We don’t necessarily associate triumph with hardship, but they are paired together often. I have seen dedicated athletes up at dawn, fitting in their workouts before their workday begins. They are out in all kinds of weather too. I admire them but can’t say I relate to them at this time in my life. I rise at dawn for a different reason. I find that I just can’t start my hectic, stress-filled day without some alone time with Jesus. I need that solitude, that silent time of prayer and sitting with Him in His Word. I must have it, like some people need a morning run or a piping hot cup of coffee.
My job can really put the squeeze on me, and because I work with young children, each squeeze yields something that will affect them. They are tender, precious little ones in the sight of God, and He cares for them so much. I need God to fill me with Himself before I go in to work, so that He can pour His kindness, love and encouragement through me, to these little ones. Oswald Chambers puts it this way:
If we believe in Jesus, it is not what we gain but what He pours through us that really counts. God’s purpose is not simply to make us beautiful, plump grapes, but to make us grapes so that He may squeeze the sweetness out of us. Our spiritual life cannot be measured by success as the world measures it, but only by what God pours through us— and we cannot measure that at all.
(Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest)
I pray that God will meet with you in your times of quiet and rest, so that when the squeeze of life is put on you, a Sweet Aroma of Christ is what others receive. May you become a delightful fragrance of Christ, wherever you happen to be. We are blessed by Him to become a blessing to others.
“He who believes in Me…out of his heart will flow rivers of living water”— and hundreds of other lives will be continually refreshed. Now is the time for us to break “the flask” of our lives, to stop seeking our own satisfaction, and to pour out our lives before Him. Our Lord is asking who of us will do it for Him?
(From My Utmost for His Highest Updated Edition)