Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Gift Nobody Wants

Before me rests a package, a gift.
The tag clearly reads my name,
But what a gift:
Wrapped in sandpaper,
Encrusted with glittering bits of broken glass,
Bound carefully with a bow of thorns and brambles.

Who wants to open such a gift?

Yet the tag reads just as clearly,
“From your heavenly Father.”
He is good;
He does good.
Will I trust Him enough to accept the abrasions, the lacerations,
The wounds this gift will cost?
Or will I refuse, rebel, reject?

Trust Me, He says.
The treasure is worth the pain,
More than worth it.
The momentary, light affliction
Of opening your gift
Is opening to you an eternal weight of glory
As far beyond comparison with the pain
As hyperbole times hyperbole.

Knowing Christ in the power of His resurrection
Requires learning to know Him in communion with His suffering,
Yet the knowledge gained surpasses the preciousness
Of a thousand-carat diamond,
A hundred-pound pearl.

He took the sharpest thorns,
The roughest edges,
The bloodiest brambles.
Will I trust Him by receiving His gift?

If there’s any other way to claim the treasure, Lord,
Rewrap it in soft leather,
In satin ribbon.
If not,
Thy will be done.

“These little troubles (which are really so transitory) are winning for us a permanent, glorious and solid reward out of all proportion to our pain. For we are looking all the time not at the visible things but at the invisible. The visible things are transitory: it is the invisible things that are really permanent” (2 Cor. 4:17-18, J.B. Phillips New Testament).

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