Have you ever received a tremendously meaningful gift that almost took your breath away? It may have been wrapped in unattractive paper, and the value of the contents completely took you by surprise. You were measuring the worth of the gift by its size, and by the wrapping that covered it. It was only when you saw what was inside, that you realized the magnitude and value of the gift.
What does this have to do with the subject of faith? God has certain secrets of His providence that He allows His children to experience, and later learn to treasure. Often God’s ways appear to be harsh, and His purpose is hidden from our sight. Through faith, we can look at this “unattractive wrapping” and say, “This is God’s special gift to me. I find it distasteful and unappealing; however, I know that if I look deeper, I will be able to see the hidden meaning for it, and the value of this treasure to me.”
In my last blog, “Faith Is…”, I shared about what the perspective of faith should look like. It is not a blind shot in the dark. It is merely taking God at His Word and resting in the great promises that He has given to His children. We have been taught to live out of what we can see, hear and experience. This is living in the flesh rather than being people of faith. Hebrews 11:1 states: “Faith is being certain of what we do not see.”
I like this definition of faith: “Visualizing what God intends to do in a given situation and acting in harmony with it.” Someone has said, “Faith is believing in something when common sense tells you not to.” The following, true story is an example of childlike faith that will warm your heart:
A little girl, named Tess, went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jelly jar from its hiding place in the closet. She poured the change out on the floor and counted it carefully. Three times. The total had to be exactly perfect. No chance here for mistakes. Carefully placing the coins back in the jar and twisting on the cap, she slipped out the back door and made her way down the six blocks to Rexall’s Drug Store with the big red Indian chief sign above the door.
She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention, but he was too busy at this moment.Tess twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise. Nothing. She cleared her throat with the most disgusting sound she could muster. No good. Finally she took a quarter from her jar and banged it on the glass counter. That did it!
“And what do you want?” the pharmacist asked in an annoyed tone of voice. “I’m talking to my brother from Chicago whom I haven’t seen in ages,” he said without waiting for a reply to his question.
“Well, I want to talk to you about my brother,” Tess answered back. “He’s really, really sick…and I want to buy a miracle.”
”I beg your pardon?” said the pharmacist.
“His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing inside of his head and my Daddy says only a miracle can save him now. So how much does a miracle cost?”
“We don’t sell miracles here, little girl. I’m sorry but I can’t help you,” the pharmacist said, softening a little.
“Listen, I have the money to pay for it. If it isn’t enough, I will get the rest. Just tell me how much it costs,” Tess replied.
The pharmacist’s brother was a well dressed man. He stooped down and asked the little girl “What kind of a miracle does your brother need?”
I don’t know,” Tess replied with her eyes welling up. “I just know he’s really sick and Mommy says he needs an operation. But my Daddy can’t pay for it, so I want to use my money.”
“How much do you have?” asked the man from Chicago.
“One dollar and eleven cents,” Tess answered barely audibly. “And it’s all the money I have, but I can get some more if I need to.”
“Well, what a coincidence,” smiled the man. “A dollar and eleven cents— the exact price of a miracle for little brothers.”He took her money in one hand and with the other hand he grasped her mitten and said,“Take me to where you live. I want to see your brother and meet your parents. Let’s see if I have the miracle you need.”
That well dressed man was Dr. Carlton Armstrong. He was a surgeon who specialized in neuro-surgery. The operation was completed free of charge and it wasn’t long until Andrew was at home again and doing well. Mom and Dad were happily talking about the chain of events that had led them to this place.
“That surgery,” Mom whispered. “was a real miracle. I wonder how much it would have cost?” Tess smiled. She knew exactly how much a miracle cost…one dollar and eleven cents ….. PLUS the faith of a little child.
Do you have the innocent faith of a little child? Do you know your “Daddy” well enough to visualize what He may want to do with your circumstances? Don’t worry about the unattractive packages that God may be sending your way. Knowing the Giver has your best interest in mind will help you to become a greater person of faith. You can be assured that under the ugly paper is a treasure chest that is filled with hidden treasures of love, patience, and wisdom. If we learn to take God at His Word, we will accept what He sends us and trust Him for the blessings that are buried inside. Go and unwrap the “treasures” that are coming your way!