How is it that a man who hates shopping finds some unexplainable driving challenge in riffling through one bottomless brown bin after another?
I watch the man I thought I knew so well, bent over a mountain of boxes. My husband flips and tosses them as if his life depends on it. The unadorned piles have almost no explanation nor promotion. No colorful appeal stands out in the ugly scattered bins.
Perhaps you have heard of the bin store craze where returned, overstocked, and unsold clearance products are sold? One has come to our town.
All around the room, people bend over piles, intent in the hunt. Inside one cardboard box among a hundred duds, there might be a legitimate steal. A gift. Something unasked for and unexpected. Something worth the time, effort, and patience. Something the searcher never knew he or she needed nor wanted.
Oh, how I wish I could see the goodness of God in all of His gifts. But, sometimes the wrapping hides the treasure within.
I’d like to box up my trials and throw them on a return pile, with a “I never asked for this,” sticker. I beg for Him to take it away, get rid of it, make it disappear. But often, trials are not so quickly disposed of.
There are times when, in His grace He allows us to be recipients of what we most ardently wish we could send packing to wherever it came from.
Job, in the Old Testament, never asked nor seemingly merited what God allowed into his life.
His loss of property, family and health prompted him to say, “For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, and what I dreaded has happened to me.” (Job 3:25 NKJV)
In Matthew 7:7-11, Jesus instructs a listening crowd to ask, seek and find. It is what follows that convinces me again of the Father’s gracious goodness in all of His answers. He proclaims something profound but difficult to fully believe at times.
What man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! (Matthew 7: 9-11 NKJV)
What man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your… Click To Tweet
He declares that His children can always trust the Father’s gifts.
There have been times when God has brought into my life something for which I hadn’t asked nor ever wanted. Though I searched, the goodness was hidden. Although it was wrapped with pain, He intended it for good.
In the dark days of our daughter’s brain stem mass, when her cries pierced the eerie hospital hallway, it seemed as though what we’d been given was the opposite of good. She couldn’t move. She couldn’t talk. And hope dimmed.
You might have ended a rough 2023, or perhaps the New Year has already begun worse than the last. You might want desperately a redo, a take back, a re-wrap. You may long for the opportunity to send it all packing far away.
I see now so many things that I couldn’t during my daughter’s health crisis. When once it all appeared black, bits of gold shine through. I see how my heavenly Father directed me again and again to passages in Scripture which affirmed Him and His character. I see the body of Christ carrying us when we were broken.
I’m aware that much of what I’d labeled a “stone” or “serpent,” were instead rare jewels in disguise.
He drew me to Himself in ways I had never before experienced. And, I recognize that God’s goodness cannot be disputed, whatever the outcome. His love in every circumstance remains undiluted, pure, and abundant. His gifts don’t always look as we desire, but His purposes always reflect His goodness.
God offers something of great value even in our darkest trials. From His storehouse of riches, He offers treasures in unexpected and even in the never-asked-for ways. His gifts don’t always look as we desire, but His purposes always reflect His goodness. Click To Tweet
God is all He claims to be even when the packaging clashes with what is hidden inside.
Life holds its share of “I don’t get it’s.” At times we may search through its disappointing mess like an obsessed shopper trying to find something of value or purpose. We toss about the rubble of “this is not what I asked for,” and sometimes, we just need to be reminded again, if a son asks for bread, will His Father give him a stone? If he asks for a fish will His good Father give a serpent?