Monday, November 26, 2012

Bows and Ribbons

Life always comes in neat little packages wrapped with sparkling, glittery paper and floppy bows. Ribbons always engulf the package only waiting for you, the lucky receiver, to tear into. Life always seems to make sense and because of that we are always happy. We never have to struggle. It's always shine, glitter, bows, and ribbons. 

Maybe if you live in a fantasy world. I know that my life does not always come wrapped with ribbons and bows. Usually it's wrapped with a little frustration, a little resistance, a little persecution, or a little failure. Of course, there are times that we consider ourselves blessed for getting the perfect, pretty package that we admire, but honestly, how often does that come? It feels like it's always the girl who has the perfect hair, beautiful clothes, and stunning personality that is handed the most extravagant package. It feels like the popular jock who plays starting quarterback every game is the one who receives the luxurious gifts. It's never your time. 

But maybe it's not the wrapping that matters all that much. Maybe what's important isn't the bows and ribbons, but the things inside the boxes. I know for me, the best lessons that I've learned about life haven't been from gifts that were perfectly wrapped. There was always the packages wrapped in frustration that led to me growing as a peson. They were the gifts tangled in heartbreak that made me realize where my value comes from. They were the presents delivered by unlikely, and often (I say with much shame) in my eyes, undeserving people. The gifts that weren't the prettiest, were the ones that I consider myself completely and utterly blessed by. Through these gifts, I have developed a new identity in Christ, a new love for people around me, and I continue to grow from many of them. 

I know it feels like there's always that one person who gets everything on a silver platter. The package comes wrapped in wealth and property, but inside, the only thing that they find is loneliness. The package comes wrapped in beautiful children but inside comes the painful reminder of a messy divorce. The gifts can come wrapped in a nice package that you, the onlooker, is completely entranced by and jealous of, but sometimes it's the people who look like they have it all together that are truly struggling the most. 

Do not look at the wrappings of the parcels that life gives us, look at the worth of what's on the inside, but also be willing to step in and be the good that adds value to their life. I know I am blessed through some amazing friends who step into my life daily and bless me. I honestly do not deserve them, yet they stick around and encourage me in my walk every day. I'm not perfect. Life still has a lot of things to teach me, but I'm ready for whatever God is going to throw my way. 

For those of you who just received a beautifully wrapped package with something good inside:
Give thanks where thanks is due. Remember that even if you feel like you deserve it now, there have been times that you don't. Remember the grace that has been extended to you and I to allow us to have gifts like that.
For those of you who just received a beautifully wrapped package with something bad inside:
Things will get better. There are people around you who can encourage you and a God above who has hidden a fantastic present in what seems to be a bad gift. Keep faith and take a look at the big picture. God may be giving you some important message. 

For those of you who just received a package that was not beautifully wrapped and has something bad inside as well: 
It's all part of His plan. Right now, I know it doesn't look like it. It looks like the end of the world, but I promise that God has a plan. I don't know how He is going to use it, but even if you don't see it, He is using it for His glory. Have faith because though the world seems to be crushing you, He has overcome the world and if He is on your side, He will not let it overcome you.

For those of you who just received a package that was not beautifully wrapped and has something good inside: 
God grows us with these kinds of gifts. It looks like resistance. It looks bad, but He uses what looks messy and hard to show us who we are and how we are to serve Him. Don't let the messy packing deter you. Walk boldly because He is setting you up for something great that is right around the corner. 

I love you all! 

Kenzie Mason
Laying Down Myself

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