Thursday, January 16, 2014

God's Creative Gift Packaging

{{Preface ... the core thought of this post is beyond the first section regarding this book. The book is just the "packaging" for my main thought.  So, if you read any further, thanks for sticking to it through this introduction.}}

Several years ago my friend gave me the Hallmark published book  
Creative and Thoughtful GIFT GIVING ... Easy ideas for making gifts special.   
I've always enjoyed looking through it and getting ideas on the "packaging" side of gift-giving.

You can ask any person in my household "who" packages gifts nice and fancy -- 
and hands down ... my husband is the winner!  He is very meticulous on wrapping -- corners have to be razor sharp perfect... just the precise amount of clear tape... paper has to be cut in a straight line (or at least closer than my sometimes ripped/torn zig-zags)... 
absolutely no under-side piece of paper to be seen... quite obnoxiously OCD!!!  
Even Lucy can tell the difference of which grandparent wraps her gifts.  I always tease him or give him a hard time about his preciseness of gift wrapping & his time doing it -- 
whereas my motto is "hurry up and get it done!"

So, this book was THE perfect gift for my friend to give to me. The ladies who compiled this book 
(Leah Ingram, Aimee Herring and Lauren Hunter) give ideas on gift-packaging of several themes ranging from holidays ... to moving ... to retirement ... to baby showers ...

to how to wrap boxes (my hubby could skip this part -- 
he has this down to a science) ...

but I may need some extra practice

and even how to wrap obscure-shaped boxes 
(yet another section for hubby to skip) ... 

 but I will just pass that one to him to wrap

And now my little jokes aside because here is where my 
thought process really begins ---

Not all gifts are given in "perfect" packaging (such as in a box).  There have been times in my life where God has given me a gift that wasn't squarely packaged or wrapped to precision.  Yet, those have been some of the most beneficial gifts to me.  
Now, I'm not talking about gifts such as eternal life through His Son Jesus ... 
or the gift of marrying the guy of my dreams ... 
or the gift of my daughter and now grandchildren.
All of these gifts are the core of who I am (and probably you too), but there's a bit more.

I'm talking more of the gift of His provisions.  Sometimes I think we as mere humans have a tendency to "overlook the obvious" when we receive a gift of God's provision.  Such gifts may come in the form of a simple phone call or message from a friend who 
(for "some" reason) just knows you are in need of a little encouragement ... 
or maybe a meal delivered to your house when you least expect it but need it most ... 
or even just a smile or a simple "hello" from someone along your daily path.  
God always knows what we need and when we need it most.

Sometimes, though, I believe His provisions can be overlooked.  And actually to the point that we miss out completely on more blessings that He wants to abundantly give us.  There are times that I believe we struggle for so long over things that when God provides the means for us to grow and benefit ... 

we completely miss it. 

Maybe we're looking for a certain packaging and presentation ...
maybe we're looking for a definitive answer and resolution ...
  maybe we're looking for instructions and process ...

And if it's not wrapped up in what we deem as "appropriate" we brush it off and basically tell God

"Thanks for this, but I'm still waiting on the packaging, the presentation, the answer, the resolution, the instructions with step-by-step clarity.  So, send it to me with my specifications, then I'll know it's from You."

And it's at this point that

we.  completely.  miss.  it.

I'm not saying that those may not be important and needed.  But I'm saying that sometimes we let our
own expectations dictate how we believe God needs to bless us and provide for us.  And it's those preconceived notions  
LIMITS that we ourselves place on God that (I believe) 
keep us from benefiting from His bountiful gifts.

There have been times in the past that I have completely missed God's blessings in my life.  I've looked for certain things that I deemed as necessary along with my ideal presentations.

And I totally missed what God had for me.

I don't want to be my own hindrance anymore ... 
I want to search the things that come my way and find His provisions & blessings.  They may not be wrapped up in the packaging that I expect ... but I certainly would rather be the benefactor than my own hindrance.

In Philippians chapter 4, the Apostle Paul writes

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus (v19)

Notice that Paul does not say that our provisions will come neatly packaged, wrapped to perfection with step-by-step instructions on how we are to use them.  Sometimes we need to acknowledge that His ways are not our ways 
(and His means are not our means ... His packaging is not our packaging).

Dear Lord,   Thank You for Your provisions and blessings in my life.  Sometimes I may overlook them because of my own preconceived notions, but help me to set them aside and just see how You have blessed me.  Sometimes I may need to look a little more creatively in how You have packaged certain provisions for me.  And Lord, I will need Your help to do this.  There are areas where I know I have given You my parameters on how to bless me.  But right now, I lay those requirements away.  I want to see through Your eyes and Your creative packaging.  Thank You for always loving me and always providing for me.
In Jesus name I pray this ... Amen.


Doris said...

Bless you....your words have so much truth in them. Thanks for sharing. Thanks for stirring my heart towards not missing those gifts that I'm not noticing or gifts I'm rejecting because of the packaging.
You could be a devotional writer for the Proverbs 31 ladies =)

Granny said...

Thank you so much for your sweet words, my friend! You are definitely one of God's friendship gifts to me -- sure wish we lived close so we could sit & chat some ...... wishing you a wonderful weekend (and hopefully warmer weather soon!)