Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.   – 2 Corinthians 2:14  (NKJV)

“Ewww…What’s that smell?”, I wondered as I walked through the hallway.  It was a bad smell telling me my son needs to clean his hamster cage.  Stepping into the garage I smelled another bad smell.  Something had spoiled in the trash.  Good thing we take the trash out today!  The worst smell ever was when we came home from a week-long vacation to find a horrible odor invading the entire house.  It was so bad that we had to open all the windows and leave for a while to give the smell time to go away.  The cause?  Our freezer lost power while we were away and everything inside spoiled.

Ok.  Enough about bad smells.  The point of it all is to say that as stinky and unpleasant as they are, bad smells are actually helpful.  They alert us to problems that need to addressed.  The smell of smoke tells us something is burning.   Body odors can can indicate health problems.  Bad smells let us know that something is wrong and help is needed.

“Bad smells” happen in our lives, too.  They let us know that something needs attention, that there’s a part of our life that needs to be cleaned up, taken out, or thrown away, and the sooner the better!  We can try to cover up bad smells to mask the odors, but the problems will remain and usually continue to worsen.

Sometimes it’s not easy to clean up the messes in our lives.  Sometimes we identify the problems, but don’t know what to do.  Other times we might feel overwhelmed and helpless about what to do.  In other situations, we know something is wrong, but we’re not able to identify the problem.

What do we do?  First, go to God in prayer.  He’s willing to take the messes, stink and all, and help us deal with the problems we face.  What next?  Pray again, and again. Continue seeking the Lord’s help and direction.  Allow Him to do what only He can do, and trust that He will indeed help you with the problems you face.  Not sure what the problem is?  God can help with that, too!  If we ask, God will reveal the areas of our lives that need to be cleaned up, fixed, or maybe even thrown away.

The reward for our efforts? The sweet fragrance of a life lived with the Lord’s  help and blessing.