Every time I smell cigarette smoke, I think of my grandfather. He was this big, tall lanky man that always had time for me as a kid, and when my mind drifts toward him my soul is filled with joy.
His house was where our whole family gathered every Sunday afternoon for years. Those Sundays were filled with the stability every childhood needs. It was not all perfect, but it was perfect for me.
There were a few guarantees every Sunday afternoon. My grandmother would make incredibly good ol’ southern food. My cousins would playfully tease me and my grandfather would clean the pool with a cigarette in his mouth.
I’ve never smoked a cigarette a day in my life, but the smell of cigarette smoke shoots my mind straight back to these childhood memories. It’s fascinating. The thing that eventually killed my grandfather is the thing that still brings me joy about him today.
Through all my grandfather’s faults, vices, and shortcomings, I’m still reminded of his compassion and the much needed stability whenever smoke wafts through my nostrils. My sense of smell is hardwired to remind me of better days. I’m eternally grateful God has blessed me with this gift of smell.
As I have reflected over the years the power of this experience, God has reminded me that it’s not only with my grandfather that my senses trigger strong memories. That same senses work with my relationship with Christ. The Lord uses my senses to remind me of Him all the time. When I….
See a perfect sunrise I’m reminded of God’s faithfulness;
Taste good food I’m grateful for God’s provisions;
Hear an old worship song, I remember falling in love with God in high school;
Feel the hug from my Dad, I’m reminded of God’s embrace for his children.
It’s fascinating. God takes all of my senses and teaches me profound truths. It’s also incredible that the thing that eventually killed Jesus (the cross) is also the thing that brings me the most joy. Seeing what he did for me and for you never ceases to remind me that in His eyes I am worth it. The cross reminds me that my Heavenly Dad loves me.
This is why when the Passion of the Christ came out years ago my heart exploded with love and gratitude for my Savior. The movie placed Jesus’ pain right in front of me in a visual way like I had never experienced before. Watch this quick video as a reminder of how powerful of a visual the cross really is.
So you ask me do I sense God? My answer is yes. Emphatically yes! I sense God with all of the senses he gave me. I sense God through nature and song and conversation and food. God is actively working in your life to remind you every day to pay attention to him. You just have to use your senses.
What are some ways God uses your senses to remind you of Him?
-Pastor Chris Weatherly
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