What’s your favourite floral fragrance?

If you said rose or lavender, you’re in luck.

These flowers are among those from which we can easily extract essential oils. These substances can then be used in products ranging from perfumes to scented soaps. If you love the smell of these flowers, you have all manner of ways to experience the scent. You can do so directly, by smelling the flower, or secondhand, as it were, through items made from their oils.

But some flowers don’t produce enough usable essential oils.

My favourite floral scent, lilac, is one of them.

Unfortunately for me, the aromatic compounds in lilacs are nearly impossible to acquire. Trying to extract the fragrance through steam distillation can end up destroying the scent profile. And the tiny amount of essential oils that may result are so expensive to produce that it’s not economically worthwhile to bother.

The end result is that you can’t buy true lilac essential oil. Perfumers may be able to mimic the scent of lilacs through synthesis, but the resulting fragrance hasn’t been distilled solely from the actual flower itself; it’s merely an approximation, a blend of other floral notes. No chemist can authentically capture the unique scent of the lilac.

If you want to experience the true fragrance of lilacs, there’s only one way to do it. You have to experience it “live,” by smelling an actual cluster of flowers.

Likewise, if we want to experience Jesus, it has to be “live.”

A relationship with Him can’t be secondhand: passed down from family members or through another’s experience. It can’t be borrowed: you can’t ride on the coattails of those who have a direct relationship with Him.

Your relationship with Christ has to be direct and firsthand.

It’s often said that God has no grandchildren, only children.

We can’t inherit our relationship with Him through our parents, although they can certainly introduce us to Jesus. We must have a one-on-one relationship with Him. We all have to make our own decision to accept Christ and to follow Him.

It’s sort of like citizenship.

Some countries allow the children or even grandchildren of those originally born there to acquire citizenship, even if the descendants have never set foot in that nation.

Many other countries grant the privilege of citizenship only to those born there themselves: it must be a direct connection.

I think God grants us citizenship in Heaven in the latter way: by being born again through His Son Jesus directly, and not through a tenuous, hand-me-down connection through a forebear.

If you would like to have your sins forgiven and spend eternity in Heaven with God, won’t you connect with Jesus? He loves you and longs to have a relationship with you.

My favourite flower, the lilac, is only available to us for a few weeks each spring. As much as I adore its scent, its fragrance is fleeting and can only be experienced for a limited time each year.

But Jesus is always available and ready to forgive.

Won’t you reach out to Him?

© 2021 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.

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