12.16.2009

When you are pressed, crushed, and bruised.

" 'When anyone brings a grain offering to the Lord, your offering is to be of the finest flour. You are to pour olive oil on it, put incense on it... Leviticus 2:1 TNIV
Lately I've been listening to a lot of sermons on Leviticus. If the Bible really is alive, if it really is the words of God, then every part should have meaning right? If that's true then I can't skip over the hard or foreign parts anymore. So here I am in this often misunderstood book of TORAH (1st five books of Hebrew & Christian Bible).
There are a number of things in the verse listed above worth mentioning but none as personal to me today as incense. Incense is the last thing in the verse that God instructed His people to offer. Its part of the "peace offering." The peace offering is after the sin offering, which absolves the worshipper of sin because God lovingly provided a way for common people to approach Him. Once a person has their sin taken care of, how could they respond any other way than to offer up their best. That's where the incense comes in.
It would have been Frankencese (sound familiar?). This would have been burned up for the Lord because of its pleasant aroma that comes when it is crushed and bruised. When it goes through rough treatment, it smells the best.
What does your life "smell like" when you are stressed? How do you react to stress? How do you respond to the storms of life?
Today was certainly pressing. Traveling with a sick one year old and her tired mommy could have been a disaster. I'm easy going except for getting to the airport on time. I routinely have nightmares about missing flights...like once a month, no joke. We were late. Security was a fiasco, air puffers, searches, and questions like crazy. Then I managed to get Ellas car seat stuck in the x-ray machine. All the while my phone was going ballistic as if some force in the universe compelled all who know me to call, e-mail, and text simultaneously.
All afternoon this verse came to mind as my life smoldered. At each red light. With every heartbreaking cough from my sick daughter. Every obstacle made me ask God, "Can you please help my attitudes and actions smell good to you, Marie and Ella right now?" After all, when faced with the reality and weight of all Jesus did/does, how can a few delays throw me off?
May you this day know the God who makes lives give off an aroma that's pleasing to him. May others smile as they take a whiff of your life.

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