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DAILY Devotion

Plain Brown Wrapper

By Kathy Schultz

My granddaughter is a typical seven-year-old girl. She and I both love dolls and reading. For my own enjoyment and to encourage my granddaughter's reading of history, I ordered her an American Girl Doll catalog. The catalog has dolls that come with fictional stories placed during certain periods of American history.

I let my granddaughter know all about the catalog and she caught my excitement. She began to anticipate the catalog's arrival. Each afternoon, she would retrieve the mail and report the catalog was not there. Yesterday, she again reported the catalog had not arrived and the disappointment could be heard in her voice. In her hand, amongst several envelopes, was a magazine wrapped in brown paper. She did not know what she was holding until she tore open the wrapper and looked inside. Much to her surprise, it was the catalog! Excitement replaced the disappointment once she realized this was the long awaited catalog. She thought the catalog would be bright and pretty and easy to identify. It had not come wrapped as she had expected.

How often do we expect things to come a certain way? We expect the answers to our prayers to be easily identified. Sometimes the answer appears differently from what we expect and not in the way we anticipate. The answer could be in our hands, simply wrapped up in plain brown paper. Like Alex, I need to open the wrapper and pull out the item.

One fine example was the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus. After all, He was born in a manger and not a palace. The people of His day were not looking for Him to arrive in such a lowly manner, but the shepherds and the Wise Men looked beyond their expectations and found Jesus.

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, (Jesus) who was lying in a manger (Luke 2:16).

We can also find Jesus just as the shepherds did. We need to remember He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. His ways are not our ways.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord (Isaiah 55:8).

I am so often sure I know what is going to happen in a certain situation. I think I know how God is going to answer. That is when I find out I have missed the blessing God has in store for me. I fail to look behind the cover! Like my granddaughter, I am disappointed, thinking nothing has happened. But the answer may have already arrived. We just need to keep on asking and looking. The scripture says we will find it if we keep on seeking.

Keep on asking, and you will be given what you ask for. Keep on looking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone, who seeks, finds. And the door is opened to everyone who knocks (Matthew 7:7-8 NLT).

Alex looked at the catalog, read and reread all the descriptions of the dolls for most of the evening. What joy awaited her once she looked inside the wrapper! May we too look inside the wrappers and find our blessings and joys. Remember that they may come in unexpected ways.

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