The Gift

There was a gift given to a young woman.
It sat outside her door.
It wasn't so beautiful on the outside to her
In fact, it looked mighty dangerous.
It had thorns and thistles around the brown paper that wrapped it.
She couldn't see what was inside, but she was afraid to touch it.
It had been burned on the outside, just enough for flame marks to be visible.
She wondered what on earth anybody could possibly be giving to her.
She decided she was going to get some gloves and throw it away.

Clearly, based on how it looked, there was no hope for whatever was inside.

Just as she was about to toss it away, a man appeared.

She had never seen him before, but from far away she could feel a sense of peace and calm from him.
He asked her what she was doing.

"Well," she said, "I'm throwing this away. I have no earthly clue who gave it to me or where it came from, but I don't appreciate someone leaving trash here at my home."

He smiled for a moment and then answered,
"I gave it to you."

Stunned she looked at him closer, did she know him? No, she was sure she didn't. So why was this stranger giving her this... whatever it is?
"Oh, I...uh... what is it?"

He chuckled and told her, "Why don't you stop being so afraid and just open it?"

Reluctantly she peeled back the paper carefully, so as not to cut herself on the thorns, and looked. Inside was a beautiful strand of pearls.

"Oh my. These are beautiful! Where did you find them? Why would you give these to me? I don't even know you."

Her last sentence must've saddened him because he looked away for a moment and then answered her,
"Daughter, I have known you all your life. I have seen your every struggle. I have gifted you with life and you're choosing to throw it away just because it's a little beat up around the edges and painful to handle. You cry out to Me, but when I answer you just throw away my Words and keep running. I gave you a gift and you rejected it. I gave you another gift and you rejected it too. The pearls represent the beauty that surrounds you because of Me. The thorns, the burn marks, they represent the pain that surrounds the beauty. I am over it all though. If you would seek Me you would see Me and know Me. That's what the gift represents- being unafraid to peel back the layers, however scary they look to you, and see the beauty inside."

The young woman started to say something, but didn't.
She knew the Man in front of her.
She knew He had heard her thoughts the night before. How she wanted to end it. To flee from the pain once and for all.
Immediately the tears began to roll.

"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to reject Your gift. I'm just so tired and hurting. I didn't mean to hurt You too. Will You forgive me?"

He gently wiped her tears and grabbed her hand, "Daughter, you matter to Me. You are going to make it through this. Yes, I forgive you. However, you must not doubt My goodness or My plans because they are much higher than yours. Learn to trust Me, daughter. I want what's best for you."

For several moments she cried and finally decided that she was going to accept all the gifts surrounding her and make Him happy by how she lived, even when it was hard. She started to tell Him all her thoughts, but when she looked up, He was gone.

He wasn't gone though. He just wasn't in front of her anymore. She knew He would always be with her because He told her He would and she knew it to be true.

She grabbed the pearls and placed them around her neck.
Just as she accepted these, she will accept life and she will live because of Him.

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