“What does the future of our family look like to you?” Tracy said with that familiar look and tone that hinted of an inherent desire to have a serious conversation. Usually we’re goofing around the house telling each other how amazing the other person is (our love language is words of affirmation). I hadn’t given much thought to the question in the past. Typically we drive through life in the fast lane. We know how to get away and rest, but things are quite busy for us in this season of our lives with ministry and the coming of the little one.
As Tracy began putting away dishes, I silently asked the Holy Spirit what He wanted in the future for the Briscoe family. Usually when someone asks what my purpose is I give them the standard “honor God and make disciples” reply. Nothing wrong with that. Making disciples is the greatest thing we can do for God. After a couple of moments, I felt deep within my heart that God wanted my family to be a blessing.
For I am planting seeds of peace and prosperity among you. The grapevines will be heavy with fruit. The earth will produce its crops, and the heavens will release the dew. Once more I will cause the remnant in Judah and Israel to inherit these blessings…Now I will rescue you and make you both a symbol and a source of blessing. So don’t be afraid. Be strong, and get on with rebuilding the Temple!
I read the passage above later that night and found more insight into what God had originally spoken to me. The Almighty wants His people to be a source of blessing to the world; to be the ones who initiate a blessing. We are called to be a people who tirelessly extend themselves with tenacity and compassion into the lives of others. My hope is that my family would be a symbol of the goodness of God.
Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume. Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this?
2 Corinthians 2:14-16
We believers are described as a Christ-like fragrance. When someone comes in contact with us what do they smell? What can they perceive from our deeds and words? I would hope that eventually they could sense that our nature is clothed with the presence of Jesus. A common misperception among Christians is that we must stay within the confines of the church. On the contrary, Jesus walked past the pews and beyond the doors of the synagogue and was a symbol and source of blessing to thousands. Like Jesus, we must become symbols expressing the very character of God.
The new Man of Steel (Superman) movie comes out next weekend. There is a scene at the end of the newest trailer where a discussion takes place regarding the “S” on Superman’s uniform. We are told that instead of it standing for super it actually is a symbol for hope. There is power in symbols. Throughout history people have risen and fallen behind them. A symbol is an act, sound, or object that has significance and the capacity to excite and/or objectify a response.
Let each among you search his or her own soul. Ask yourself if you regularly inspire and excite others to follow our King? Is your life symbolic of hope, love, and faith? I pray it would be. I pray that it would be for my family, for my little children yet to be born, that they would be beacons of light and turn many to righteousness. My hope is that God would use their lives to be a symbol and source of blessing for this dark world.
I’m Harold Dorrell Briscoe. Thanks for reading.