By Jess Ledwell
Every Christmas, my mom got a bottle of her favorite perfume. It was Eternity by Lancome. Every time someone walks by me with that scent, I am reminded of her. She would make that tiny bottle last an entire year, so that the next Christmas she would receive the same gift.
However, during my Junior Year of high school, it only made it to October.
I don’t know where the deer came from. I only know it had been in my father’s truck for quite a while. He may have been trying to get it to a taxidermist to have it mounted, but regardless of the reason for it being in the back of his truck-- it had started to stink.
Imagine my surprise when I came home one night, late after practice, and he was spraying the ghastly thing with, you guessed it, my mother’s favorite perfume. I stood there, mouth open, nose closed, suppressing laughter, as I thought, ooohhhhh, you’re in troooouubbbllleee!!!
Spiritually, I find myself doing the same ridiculous task with much greater consequences and less hysterical results. How many times do I waste my perfume on the dead carcasses I carry around with me?
How many times do I rehash conversations with people from years ago, wishing I had said something different?
How many times do I think of all the negative things I think others are thinking as they see me trying to figure out this mommy thing in public?
How many times do I go out of my way to dress, act, think, smile, and speak, so that other people, who I don’t even know, will accept me?
How many times do I allow past injustices fester into unforgiveness and bitterness?
How many times do I ask for forgiveness for the same sin feeling worthless and hopeless?
Perfume on a dead carcass-- useless.
Instead, I should act like Mary in the book of John. She poured her precious and expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet. She took her most precious possession, which took her a YEAR to save, and poured it on Jesus’ sandal-clad, dirt-stained feet.
In John 12:5, Judas stood back and exclaimed: “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor?” But in verse seven Jesus replied: “Leave her alone, it was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial.”
To Judas, the perfume was wasted on just another dirty, soon to be dead, carcass.
Fortunately, Jesus did not stay dead long. He rose victorious, leaving death and all of my sin in the grave. He has given me victory over my hopelessness, bitterness, insecurities, and sin. Since I am follower in Christ, I have trusted him to free me of all my “junk.”
But then why do I keep throwing all of it back in the trunk, spraying the perfume of my thoughts, time, energy, and actions on it, and dragging it around?
Ladies, we don't need to cover up the stink; Jesus has freed us from all of our junk... completely! It's our choice whether or not to keep carrying dead carcasses around. We need to take a long look in the mirror and yell at ourselves, "I'm freeee!"
Instead of worrying about what the cashier thinks of our screaming children, let's invite her to church.
Instead of rehashing past conversations, let's make intentional time to bless our friends and family.
Instead of harboring bitterness, let us extend forgiveness to those who have wronged us.
Instead of pouring our perfume on "dead carcasses", let's pour it out on the precious feet of Jesus, the one who rose that we might be free.
Word of the Day:
“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12. (NIV)
Jesus I praise your Holy and Gracious name for the work you did on the cross. Thank you for freeing me from all of my “junk.” I’m sorry for carrying it around like a stinking dead carcass even when you have sacrificed so much to keep me from bearing it. Please show me daily ways that I can pour my time, energy, and thoughts on you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.