Looks can be deceiving. I’ve been deceived before and I’ve deceived others before. It’s true.
See, I love giving gifts, no special occasion needed. Everyday is special enough to warrant a gift/surprise. I also love wrapping gifts. It’s a way for me to add just a bit more love. I have been known on more than once occasion to wrap the gift I’m giving in an unsuspecting package.
i.e., a small object in a large cereal box, a men’s gift in a Victoria Secret bag, a shirt inside a wine box/bag, etc.
When done well, it’s hilarious atleast for me because the recipient is thrown off as to what the gift actually is. The gift is in disguise.
When I think about it, I can see that I get this trait from my father…my Heavenly Father.
See friends, God loves giving gifts. And by love, I mean He LOVES giving gifts. He loves it because He loves you and I…a lot. A lot is not even strong enough to express His incredible love for us. God is a lavish gift giver. The problem is, too often, you and I stop at the wrapping paper-the paper of inconvenience, the bag of challenge(s), the box of interruption, the ribbon of pain/suffering, the bow of delay. We look at our external circumstances (the wrapping paper) and if it doesn’t look pretty, polished, or “perfect” (a.k.a. things happening when we want, how we want, the way we want), we don’t bother with the gift on the inside.
How many times have you and I missed out on opportunities and incredible experiences because we’ve been overly consumed and blinded by our circumstances?
How often have you and I judged someone based on what we see with our physical eyes (what they look like, what their fake book profile states, how many followers someone has on Twitter, how many likes their Instagram photos got, what their business card states, etc.)?
How many times have we let pain, suffering, disappointment, and delay of our past prevent us from moving forward?
Opportunities occur everyday. Yet more often than not, they come wrapped up in disguise.
“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”-Thomas A. Edison
Wrapped up in every inconvenience, delay, interruption, unfair situation and so forth are gifts of wisdom, insight, growth, experiences, beauty, and (unsuspected) blessings.
The gift my friend, is always…ALWAYS on the inside. This applies to people and this applies to life. No matter how the packaging looks like, what is most important is what is on the inside.
May you and I not be so overly consumed with how things look that we become blinded to the real gift(s) of life.
Every delay teaches us patience.
Every disappointment invites us to have compassion.
Every inconvenience refines our character.
Every interruption lies an invite to go beyond our own egos and consider others.
Every moment of sadness, despair, and suffering is an opportunity to better connect with others-as a reminder that we are never alone.
If my brother Adam refused to open the gift we brought him because of the bag it was in, he would have missed out on the real gift (that we knew he’d love) on the inside.
There’s a famous saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” In a world that is obsessed with appearances and covers, may you and I not be swayed by the wrapping paper of life but instead be treasure seekers, unwrapping our circumstances to experience the beauty and blessings of life.
Hidden treasures. Buried treasures. Kingdom treasures.
“So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”-2 Corinthians 4:18, NLT