Walking through my neighborhood this time of year, I am often caught off guard by the intoxicating scent of citrus trees in bloom. It happens when I least expect it. I turn a corner and wham! I’m hit with the most luscious smell on the planet. Instantly, I’m taken back to childhood days of spending spring break in Palm Springs with friends and family from Portland where we lived. When you’re from the Pacific Northwest and have endured months without sun, the annual pilgrimage south to The Land of the Sun is a very special thing. The memories I have from those weeks spent in the sunshine & splashing in the pool with dear friends could fill a book.
Catching that scent always causes me to linger, to walk a little slower. I want to savor each breath. Sometimes I’ll even pick a blossom from the tree and carry it close to my nose for the rest of my walk.
It’s hard to describe the feelings this scent evokes in me. Happy memories of beautiful smiles and laughter. Walking with my daddy to get a sweet roll in the morning. Falling asleep to the hum of the adults talking, laughing and playing games into the night. Those were happy, happy times for me. The scent of citrus trees in bloom takes me back with a joyful giddiness normally reserved for the splendor of Christmas morning.
I’ve always heard our praise is like sweet incense to God; that he inhabits the praises of his people. Think back to something that makes you feel like I do when I catch the scent of a citrus blossom. It’s amazing for me to think this is how God feels when I offer praise to him. Can you imagine?
I find myself seeking out that scent every day during spring, and longing for it the rest of the year. What if this is how God feels about us? When we offer up our praises to him, is he grinning with a joyful giddiness that we have given him something really special? When we neglect to praise him, does he long for that sweet scent to gently inhabit his senses?
Each time I smell that glorious fragrance, God gently reminds me that’s how he feels when I praise him.