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Yesterday, two large boxes the size of boots made for Goliath, appeared on my porch. Tim, my husband for those of you who don’t know me personally, thought they must be heavy so he reached down to heft them toward the door but they weighed about as much as air.  Totally mystified, we gathered around the boxes for the unveiling of items that came in such monstrous boxes. Being rather housebound this season, I’ve become somewhat of a master online shopper/box opener so I carefully cut away the packing tape and opened the lid. There laying softly over a tiny package of highlighters was a fully inflated air bag.  Huh! Well, let’s move on to the next box and see what’s inhabiting that one.  This identical box, came from the identical store and I took the identical action: slit the tape, fold back the lid and what did we find? A box of K-cups surrounded by what? Yet another beautifully inflated air bag. Tim and I just scratched our heads in amazement. Same company, same order, same delivery but two separate boxes.
There’s a lesson here, isn’t there? In fact there are a few lessons threaded through this story that go beyond economics and the obvious opportunity for process improvement. When I looked into the boxes and saw one lone item surrounded by a pillow of protection I thought of how God sees us. He doesn’t look at mixed products generically thrown together in one box.  Each of us was created individually with unique characteristics, some visible and others hidden deep inside. Here highlighted from Psalm 139:13-16 in the Message translation describes how God knew every detail of our appearance and what we would become even before we were born.  “[God] shaped me first inside, then out; body and soul, I am marvelously made! You know me inside and out, every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, sculpted from nothing into something. You watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.”
Before those boxes were packed, the products were manufactured, put together on an assembly line, packaged, sorted, shipped to a supplier, and later to the one who placed the precise order. I didn’t know until a few days ago that I was going to order those items, but they were set aside for me much like we are created and set aside for God. Deuteronomy 7:6 “… you are a people set apart as holy to God, your God. God, your God, chose you out of all the people on Earth for himself as a cherished, personal treasure.” Did you get that? We are a ‘cherished treasure’.
I don’t know about you, but there is something rewarding about being a cherished treasure, a protected cherished treasure. Remember that protective air pillow in the box? Shrink-wrapped highlighters aren’t likely to break or be damaged, yet the packager surrounded them in the ultimate bubble wrap. This past year I’ve experienced the ultimate bubble wrap of God’s protection and will forever relate to this verse in Psalm 5:11 “But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that they who love your name may rejoice in you.” Joy is only possible when remembering that God prepares, provides, and protects. Faith is everything.
Last year a sweet friend posted a picture of a love bird, hugging two offspring under her wings. It was a touching illustration of how God prepares, provides, and protects. Psalm 91:4 “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield. I love this verse from Paul and hope you take it to heart. Galatians 6:18 “May what our Master Jesus Christ gives freely be deeply and personally yours, my friends.”
Enjoy one of my favorite tributes to Jesus Christ, the reason for the season.
Scripture quotes are from the NIV or Message translation of the Bible from Bible Gateway.