Two nights ago my husband and I were watching television. We were watching a series and the episode was touching something deep within. My emotions got involved in the program as I watched an episode concerning a beloved family member dying. It has been one year since my own beloved parents went home to Jesus and what I was watching began touching upon my own experience. And that’s when it happened.
As I sat, I suddenly became aware of a smell, a very sweet yet pleasing smell. It was so strong. I looked over at my husband and wondered if he were smelling it also. I asked. No, he hadn’t noticed anything. I kind of wrote it off as perhaps a lotion I had applied earlier in the morning and somehow I was getting a whiff of it again. And then it was gone, and I continued watching the program.
Last night, we were watching this same program as they did indeed say final goodbyes to their loved one. And once again, I was moved, almost to tears, with memories of my parent’s passing, one day apart. It was a tough time in my life because I didn’t have the luxury of sitting with either of my parents as they entered into paradise with my Savior, Jesus. No, this was a time of no contact because they were in an assisted living facility and they both had covid. Too many details to get into but enough to say I didn’t get to say my final goodbyes in person. It was hard.
Suddenly, I became aware of the smell again. This was a wonderful aroma, like perfume, that was very pleasing to my sense of smell. I looked again at my husband; his eyes were on the show and he gave no outward appearance of smelling what I was. This time, my mind switched over to God. “Is that you Lord?” I inquired. I didn’t hear any reply.
As I sat there with my rising feelings, I quietly voiced my disappointment to God over my not being able to be with my parents when they each slipped away. I had been denied that. And as I watched the continuing story in the program, I was aware of questions I had. I felt so badly for my parents because there was no one, save for the dedicated staff members that I knew were there with them. I know they were taken care of, but all the same, I wasn’t there. I easily could have slipped into despair. But there was that aroma wafting across my sense of smell and it was oh, so pleasant.
When the program was over, I voiced my sorrow and disappointments to my husband. We talked about it for 15 minutes or so. He asked me if I’d like to pray over all this. “Yes, I would like that very much”. We said our prayers, asking God to not only console me, but also over our various family members and what we knew of things they were experiencing, our friends and their struggles, situations that we knew needed lifting before our Father in heaven. We also thanked God and gave Him praises for all we could think of and finally, over our nation and all that is being faced right now. When we were done, we kissed each other goodnight and turned out the lights. I slept a fairly good night considering the emotions of the last hour before retiring.
This morning, on my way to church, I asked the Lord if there was anything He wanted to highlight to me concerning our Sunday service. We are members of a Foursquare Church and so we often are able to share words of encouragement to our congregation. As I waited on Him during my 20-minute drive, He brought up the smell I had sensed the past two nights and very suddenly, He dropped His explanation into my heart.
As I’d watched this program about someone dying, it stirred up all the emotions of the past year as I was grieving the loss of my parents. The program brought up a lot and for a brief moment last night, I feared I was going to fall headlong back into the fullness of my emotions; I feared I was going to fall apart. While I did shed a few tears, the aroma I had smelled had somehow comforted me. God showed me that through my awareness of the sweet aroma I smelled, He was there. It was His smell! He wanted me to know He was right there, right with me, as I was experiencing familiar feelings of loss and grief. But…He wanted me to know that His Presence was real, and He was with me, just as He always is, ready to comfort and bring me His peace. I was able to share this with our congregation this morning.
My friend, if you are in need of God’s comfort and peace, would you please just push the pause for a few minutes in your busy life and wait on the Lord? He longs to comfort you too. He is an ever present participant in our lives and, as His Word says, He’ll never leave us nor forsake us. It means He cares for you very much. Your discomfort is felt by Him and He longs to bring you His peace. There is nothing He regrets more in our lives than our pulling away from Him during troubled times.
For thus says the LORD, “Behold, I extend peace to her like a river, And the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream; And you will be nursed, you will be carried on the hip and fondled on the knees. “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; And you will be comforted in Jerusalem.” Isaiah 66:12-13 NASBS
He is holding out peace to you in your time of need. He longs to comfort you in your hard places. Let His love wash over you as a flowing river and allow Him to just hold you tight today.
I pray God’s amazing Shalom over you this day. Stop and observe. Can you sense His Presence? He’s there with you…always! Blessings of peace and comfort over you today.