There may be nothing better to me than an evening spent outside by a fire. I like inside fires too, but outside fires . . . I love feeling the warmth biting through the evening cold.
Have you noticed that fire seems to form a circle around itself? Those of us who so often run fast and alongside one another slow to face each other as we face the fire. I love to watch how the light dances on the faces I find laughing with me around the circle.
Time seems to stand still when I am sitting around a fire. Worries melt away in the flames.
Then, after I’ve gone back inside, everything on me smells of the campfire – even my hair. It’s not a smell that is easy to get rid of. It lingers. It sticks. It reminds me of the peace I felt by the fire when I take in the smell.
I think that is what it’s like to have been near God.
The minutes or hours spent meditating of the words of Scripture.
The moment when something you have struggled to understand finally makes sense.
The prayers cried out in confident hope that God has heard you.
The song you can’t get out of your head or your heart because it moves you to tears from the first note.
The peace, the worries chased away, the lies we believe replaced with the truth of a God who loves you and chases you down no matter what.
When you’ve been near God – when you’ve experienced His love and peace and grace – you can’t help but carry some of that with you.
Just like the lingering scent of the campfire smoke – when you’ve sat in the presence of God, you’ll smell like it.
It’s hard to get rid of – and it’s hard to miss. The smell is distinct.
It smells a lot like:
peace that can’t be understood
patience beyond yourself
goodness in the face of evil
faithfulness no matter what
gentleness in place of rashness
and self-control, when everyone else is going their own way
Those traits and responses are not natural for us – but they are for God. When we are near Him, we allow His Spirit to fill more of us with Him.
He sticks to us, and the smell of Him begins to overpower the smell of us.
That is my prayer today – that we would sit in the presence of God – and after?
That we would walk around smelling like Jesus; looking like Him, talking like Him; loving like Him.
For His Glory.
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! – Galatians 5:22-23
Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. –2 Corinthians 2:15a