Essence

Before a young woman’s turn came to go in to King Xerxes, she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments prescribed for the women, six months with oil of myrrh and six with perfumes and cosmetics.” Esther 2:12 (NIV)

This morning I read a particularly interesting peace from one of my daily devotions.The devotion shared more about our fragrance or our essence as people.It shared on the type of fragrance we give off around the people around us, the fragrance we give off when we worship God and lastly the type  of fragrance you share together with God.Is the fragrance pleasant or not?

When I read this devotion it immediately reminded me about Queen Esther and the ritual involving fragrant oils and perfume that she had to immerse herself in for 12 months before entering the King’s chambers. This ritual was part of her preparation to become Queen.

Upon reflection on this verse i realized that this particular piece of scripture is not necessarily  just about beauty and cosmetics,its based on character. I have been told so many times before that i have a calming effect on people around me ,especially some of my friends(they can be pretty wild).At other times I am told that i am easy to talk and have a trusting presence.After a while I came to realize that this is the fragrance I give off to the world.It is a fragrance that invites and engulfs the restless,broken and down-hearted to just sit a while with me and allow God to touch them through me.Its a wonder feeling to realize that God has bestowed that kind of gift upon my life and use it wisely.

A gift however,is freely bestowed upon us by God.What about the fragrances that we have to work for?The type of fragrance that needs to be pressed out of us and then needs to be nurtured so that it has a long-term effect. What about the 12 month fragrance…the fragrance of holiness?

As we have read earlier in the scriptures we understand that Esther had to bathe in oils and perfumes daily for 12 months before she came before the King for the first time.By the time that she engaged with the King face-to-face she had already adopted the smell of that beautiful fragrance.It became a part of who she was.I choose to believe that even after she married the King, she continued with the ritual for two reasons.Firstly that the fragrance was pleasing to the King and secondly because it became her second nature.

In the same manner we have to bathe in Holiness on a daily basis so that our fragrance may be pleasing to the King of Kings.It needs to become a culture, a ritual , a way of life for us,if we want to become His bride one day.

So remember the next time that your Pastor asks you to live a Holy Life,that it is not just a request,but an instruction from the Most High.

Sade

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What is your deficit?

Esther 2:10 “Esther had not revealed her nationality and family background, because Mordecai had forbidden her to do”. (NIV)

What is that 1 thing in your life that you choose not to reveal?

Something so dark or embarrassing that you are afraid to reveal it, for the fear of losing your credibility. Something that has the power to break you as women. It is something you hold so close to you, because you fear that if it accidentally slips out, it may be the end of you.

I call that “thing” a deficit.

A deficit is defined as a shortage of something (whatever that thing is in your life). A deficit robs you of living your full potential. It robs you of being you.

When you think of Queen Esther, you think of perfection. You think of someone exemplary, someone young girls can look up to. She is the image of a Godly woman for so many Christian women out there. You would never think that Esther may have a deficit in her life, but she did. In Esther 2:10 Mordecai advises Esther not to make know to her King that she is of Jewish Heritage he reasons behind this request were of a great magnitude, as Esther had the fate of a an entire nation in her hands. We all know that she had to keep that part of her life a secret for a greater purpose. If we were to look into the life of Esther on a daily basis, what would we see? Maybe Esther would avoid certain foods because she was not allowed to eat it because of religious restrictions on food? What if she was not allowed to speak her own language? Perhaps she had to avoid friends and family (even within the castle) so as to not give away her heritage? What about her husband? The most intimate relationship on this earth is between a husband and wife. Your intimacy escalates to a point where you can read each other’s behavior. You need what your partner needs and sometimes even feel what they feel. How hard must it have been for Esther to keep such a secret from her husband? We don’t really know, as the Bible does not share those finer details.

Deficits in one’s life may serve a purpose. It may be to protect others around you or even to protect yourself. A good deficit would be something that could save another’s life. A bad deficit would be something that can cause you harm. This harm does not need to be physical; oftentimes it is more emotional and psychological of nature.

I struggled with a certain deficit in my life for many years. I have a problem with smell. I tend to sweat a lot which makes other parts of my body a little stinky. As a result I avoid people. I avoid coming to close to others and I basically avoid having close intimate relationships with friends or acquaintances. I keep people at a distance. It is my way of protecting myself against the pain of someone holding their nose when I am around or someone secretly laughing at me or avoiding me. The easiest way to not get hurt is to stay away. If I find myself in situations where I am part of the crowd, I prefer to focus my eyes on something else. If I can’t see it, I can’t feel it. I am your typical Ostrich. Because of this problem I face I feel a certain sense of loneliness. I am unable to live comfortably outside of my house. I am unable to relax, because I always wonder whether I am poisoning someone’s breathing space. So I live day-to-day with the fear and pain of exposure. Unfortunately I also miss out on many opportunities to make new friends, acquaintances and even enter love relationships. This deficit has prevented me from truly living a full life.

I hope and pray that one day I will be free of this torture .I hope  that maybe there is a purpose behind all this and that I may be able to help another person who maybe going through the same type of problem. Rejection is a very painful experience and I will share more about that another time. I just hope and pray that the Lord will help me carry this load until a time where I have made it through the test. I choose to remain positive. I hope that you will do so too.

May the Lord be with you.

Sade