This morning, while I was meditating on the goodness of God, I felt the Lord speak to me about one facet of His “goodness.”
We tend to think of goodness as giving “good things,” but God began to show me that out of His goodness, He gives us what is best. And sometimes “the best” comes to us in ways we would have great difficulty describing as good. Many times when God seems to be the “least” good to us, He is actually giving us some of His choicest morsels.
Some of the best gifts come wrapped in the ugliest packages, but, because we are so prone to look with our visual eyes, our first reaction tends to be “How can anything good come out of this?”
But God, in His lovingkindness, reaches out to us in the midst of some very “unpretty” gifts. As we willingly accept what God gives us, we can begin to unwrap the layers of packaging together with Him. His goal is always that we would get to the center of the gift, and the center always has a treasure of eternal significance. The only problem is that we, in our flesh, often receive our homely gift from God and immediately cringe at the thought of embracing it! Yet God calls us not only to embrace it, but to carry it until His time of unwrapping is due. Sometimes, He’ll lead us to unwrap one layer at a time, carrying our gift for periods in between. But with each layer, the glow within can be seen more brightly.
Sometimes “the best” comes to us in ways we would have great difficulty describing as good.
God’s heart is grieved when we resist His uncomely packages, choosing to “ignore” them, “deny” them, or, worse yet, “rebuke” them. God invites us to commune with Him at every turn in life, and sometimes His most powerful invitations come through heavy, burdensome packages. Some wrapping paper is like sandpaper, cutting and bruising our flesh as we carry it. Some packages are almost humiliating in appearance, and our Lord asks us to carry them in public, without being ashamed of what He has given us. Some packages are so heavy, we are forced to enlist help from others, thus surrendering our self-sufficiency and pride.
“Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” (James 1:16-17).
Oh, Father, give us Your wisdom to see that everything You give us is good. Release us from our earthly vision and temporal judgment. Give us greater grace, O Lord, to receive all You seek to give us, especially the difficult gifts. Enlarge our understanding, so we may see, rather than be deceived. You, O Lord, never change. You are absolute and perfect in Your love for us, and You select the gift we need at the precise time we need it. And even though the gifts may vary from pleasant to painful, all of them are consistently “perfect” because they come from You. In Your blessed and holy name we pray, Amen.
©2007 Deanna Deering, Masterpiece of the Wilderness