“But thanks be to God, who always leads us triumphantly as captives in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him. For we are to God the sweet aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one, we are an odor of death and demise; to the other, a fragrance that brings life. And who is qualified for such a task?” (2Cor 2:14-16)
We just came from a nice vacation in Thailand and Singapore. These countries are blessed with many exotic fruits and vegetables. For example, I have never in my life eaten mangoes so sweet like the ones we bought from the river market in Thailand. But one of the most interesting fruits we saw was the Durian. It is called ‘the king of the fruits’. The outside layer is hard and has spikes. If you are not careful it may wound you! It has a very bad smell (like rotten meat). But the inside of the fruit is yellow, sweet and soft like vanilla custard. If you are able to ignore the smell you will be surprised how good the inside is. They say that this exotic fruit has many healing properties: it prevents cancer, diabetes, headache, anemia, insomnia, depression and anxiety. Because of its smell this fruit is not exported. You need to go to Southeast Asia to eat it. It is forbidden inside most hotels, halls and malls. It is always sold and eaten outside on the streets.
To me, this fruit is like a Spirit filled born again Christian. On the outside, we may look tough and harsh. We may wound others with our preaching. Our ‘aroma’ is unpleasant to the sinners but sweet to the believers. Inside, the Holy Spirit has made us kind, gentle and wise. The unbelievers may refuse to invite us into their homes but outside on the streets we are free and we preach Christ Crucified and Resurrected. Our aroma spreads the sweet scent of heaven. This prevailing spiritual perfume makes us leaders and heroes. Surprisingly, in Thailand, the durian (‘the king of the fruits’) was my inspiration to draw closer to the King of kings! Halleluiah!