I was tired and sat down under the shadow of the great pines in a Swedish forest, glad to find such a cool retreat from the broiling sun. I had not been there long before I noticed a fragrant odor and wondered what it could be and where it came from.
No Maréchal Niel rose grew on that barren soil, nor could the sun penetrate the shades of the forest to extract its perfume even if it had; I looked round, and found by my side a tiny flower about half the size of an ordinary daisy, nearly hidden from view by the moss. It was the little “Linéa Blomma.”
Oh, how fragrant it smelt! Again and again I held it near my face, enjoying the perfume, and then I looked up and thanked God for that tiny flower – so insignificant, growing in a wild, almost untrodden forest, yet bringing cheer and refreshment to me.
I thought, why is it so obscure, when it is a flower with such fragrance, and surely worthy of a place in the most stately grounds? I learned a lesson by it, and it spoke powerfully to my heart.
I thought, if I cannot be a pine in God’s forest, I may be a tiny flower to send forth the fragrance of Jesus in this world of sadness.
There is a tendency in our hearts to desire to be or to do something great. We are not content, like the tiny Linéa flower, to send forth fragrance in obscurity.
I have often met the Lord’s people despondent over the apparent uselessness of their lives. They cannot point to some great deed accomplished for the Lord. It has never been theirs to figure prominently in His service, nor have they the remembrance of having done anything worthy of record.
It is written, “Seekest thou great things for thyself? Seek them not.” (Jer. 45:5) Beloved fellow believer, let me tell you it is possible for you to be fragrant in this world. Keep close to Christ, walk in happy communion with Him; let your heart drink in His love and you will be fragrant to Him.
Could you conceive anything greater than that? No eye may see you but His, no ear hear you but His, no heart appreciate your act or thought but His; yet how precious, I can be fragrant to the Lord Jesus! Nothing surely is so delightful to Him as to have you and me walking with Himself. If this is so, we shall also surely come in contact with some weary soul who needs refreshment. We can speak of Jesus, and in such a way that there will be a Christ-likeness about us.
Dear fellow believer, let us give up the disappointing business of self-occupation. As long as we are occupied with self, we are not occupied with Christ. True greatness is the measure in which the excellence of Christ flows forth from us.
“His name is as ointment poured forth.” When down here He was not great as men count greatness, His was a life of obscurity. He chose no place of prominence. When by force they would make Him king, He retired; when His brethren pressed Him to go up to the feast to do some great miracle and make Himself prominent, He answered, “My time is not yet come.” To do His father’s will was His one commanding business. Oh! That “plant of renown,” that “branch of David’s stem,” that “root out of a dry ground,” who could say: “all my springs are in Thee.”
What fragrance came forth from Him! Those who were far from God could smell the holy perfume, and say: “Never man speak like this man.” The heartless Pilate had to say, “I find no fault in this man.” The centurion at the cross had to confess, “Certainly this was a righteous man.” Others could but marvel at, “The gracious words that proceeded out of his mouth.”
None could come into His presence without smelling the fragrant odours of love, compassion and tenderness. The wickedness of the human heart, which he met on every hand, only disclosed His preciousness more and more. Let us then not be despondent over what we are and what we are not. Let our attention be more than ever directed to Him, so that as He fills our vision everything else may vanish. As His sweetness fills the soul, so will His fragrance flow forth from us as the outcome of communion with Him.
May the Lord, then, so attach our hearts to Himself, that, like the little Linéa flower, sending forth its odour in the untrodden forest, we may send forth by His spirit and for His own pleasure something of His fragrance in this world and so become a reflection of the only perfect and fragrant one, Jesus!
By J.H. Lewis
A woman came to Jesus with an alabaster box of ointment, very precious, and broke it, and poured it on Him. The religious leaders were indignate, and murmured, saying, ‘What a waste!’ Jesus answered, “Leave her alone. She hath wrought a good work, on Me, she hath done what she could!” From Mark 14:39