A pleasing aroma
I have been trying to put together some thoughts that have been on my mind for a year now. Adam has prompted me several times that it is about time for me to do a “WMD”. I have tried and tried to tie all of these thoughts together and this morning it happened for me. Adam had an appointment and I cleaned the refrigerator out while he was gone. He is very faithful about taking out the trash and pushing the cart to the street on Tuesdays. However, I wanted to get rid of this bag of trash before it started smelling up the house. I pushed the cart out to the street and on my way back up the driveway, I was overwhelmed by the aroma of our crepe myrtle trees….it is intoxicating when they are all in bloom. I looked over to our pear tree and noticed a beautiful spot of yellow peeking out of the leaves….a ripened pear ready to be enjoyed.
When you read Leviticus, it repeatedly talks about burnt offerings being a sweet smelling fragrance to the Lord.
When God Created us He wanted a relationship with us. But when sin entered the world we became a trash smell in His nostrils. He loved His creation but couldn’t be near us. So He gave Moses the Law and that is wehn sacrifices were offered in payment for the sin of His people. These sacrifices were descibed as”an aroma pleasing to the Lord”. He no longer requires a need for continual sin offerings, because Jesus was the ultimate and final sacrifice for sins. Because of Jesus, we who are believers are living sacrifices to God. My question though, is do I smell pleasing to Him? Romans 12:1 tells us to present our bodies as a living sacrifice to God. The next verse tells us to not be conformed to this world but to be transformed through the renewing of our minds.
About a year ago, one of my dearest friends and I decided to do a Bible study together. She and I both have dealt with issues of anxiety and we chose a book called Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow. It helped both of us transform our minds. I have watched her transform throughout the year, but it is harder to see the transformation of your own mind. The problem with me was that I used to complain about most everything. And when a problem arose, I immediately tried to fix it myself instead of giving it to the Lord. And when I started to write a WMD, I compared myself to Adam and felt like I wouldn‘t do as good of a job as him. And I worried a lot about things that were coming up that I was not in control of. This created anxiety in my heart and mind. I was not presenting myself as a sacrifice because I wasn’t allowing God to be the Blessed Controller of my life….I wanted that control and that stinks. Proverbs 23:7 says “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” A passage from the book we read says “Looking back, I realize I did desire to trust God, but sometimes He was very slow. When He was moving at what I thought was a snail’s pace, I unconsciously decided He needed my help….When we take over and try to control what happens, we take our focus off of the One who is control and put our eyes on our circumstances.” Contentment only comes when we accept from God what He sends us because we know that He is Good and therefore anything He gives us will be good.
I learned the lesson of being content with my life a long time ago and am so thankful for that. I watch too many people in my life that constantly compare themselves with others, either to make themselves feel better or to try to be more accepted. It hurts me to watch this. I see mothers trying to out do each other trying to be super moms. I see men working way too many hours and missing out with their families in order to provide them with “better” things. Too many marriages that crumble because they depend on each other to provide their happiness instead of relying on their relationship with God to bring joy into their lives. This quote by Rev. James Hufstetler resonated with me when I read it and I hope that if you live a life of trying to be someone other than what God created you for, that you will receive this nugget of truth. “You will never really enjoy other people, you will never have stable emotions, you will never lead a life of Godly contentment, you will never conquer jealousy, and love others as you should until you thank God for making you the way He did.” Learning to be content is a huge step toward loving others the way God loves them.
I want my life to be a sweet smelling fragrance to Him. So I am learning to pray and give my anxieties to God. I am learning to pray specifically. I am trying to be thankful in all things, and to stay positive. I want my life to be to Him as my driveway was to me today. Bearing fruit and a sweet aroma. If we make the choice to pray instead of worry, we will experience God’s peace. Dwell on these verses when you start to compare, or worry, or handle things on your own. Phillipians 4:4-8. “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.”