35. BOXED BLESSINGS

BOXED BLESSINGS

 There’s still something strangely exciting about having a box delivered to my front door.   Even if I actually already know what’s in the box, there’s an air of anticipation as I cut open the seal and see what’s inside.  Perhaps my over-active sense of exhilaration was formed by growing up watching “The Music Man”.  In that classic musical there’s a song about that “Wells Fargo Wagon” coming down the street with “Something special, something very very special now just for me”. 

 I had one of those exciting days yesterday!  A clean white  12” x 12” x 12” box awaited me when I got home from work.  Like a kid opening Christmas presents I was anxious to look inside and see what the UPS man had brought me.  Granted, I already knew what the contents should be, but part of the game is seeing if what you ordered actually arrived.  In this case, the box contained several bottles of medications I had ordered from my online pharmacy and a special refrigerator envelope with my insulin.  There were no surprises or disappointments!  Everything came that was supposed to come.  I quickly cut up the insulated bag, took out the reusable freezer packet, and put my insulin in its assigned tray in our refrigerator.   I was good to go for another 90 days with all the medications my doctors have prescribed.  Whoopee!!   Another exciting box of blessings!

I remember when I was growing up how I used to tease my dad about all the medications he took. He had suffered through polio the year I was born and been diagnosed with epilepsy as a teenager.  The meds he took to control his seizures were nothing to mess around with, so he was careful not to miss a dose.  As he grew older he ended up taking other medications for blood pressure or other assorted ailments.   He had a routine in how he took his pills that was somewhat odd,   so obviously my younger brother and I took full advantage of the opportunity to have a little fun with dad!

Now I find that I’m the one taking a multitude of prescriptions to combat the onslaught of getting older.  Blood pressure, acid reflux, diabetes, arthritis, are all on the list of things on my medical chart, along with other ailments that I can’t even pronounce.  Considering the fact that I feel pretty good most of the time, seeing my list of medications makes me think I’m absolutely falling apart! Fortunately, the meds evidently keep everything in balance so that I don’t risk denting the ground if I fall over because of all my ailments.   Brother!!

That’s where my “box of blessings” comes in.   When my meds arrive at the door in that clean white box I have the assurance that I should be OK for the next 3 months……assuming I take the pills and insulin shots as ordered.   Perhaps the excitement I feel in unpacking that box is nothing more than a sense of relief that I’m living in a day and age where my doctors can keep me going, even if my body is finding new ways to betray me every year.  The contents of this box bring hope, peace, and a sense of well-being.  I’m blessed to be able to once or twice a day put something inside of me that will counteract other things inside of me that are going haywire.   What a world we live in!!

As I was thinking about this earlier today I realized that I’ve always been the recipient of a “box of blessings”, even long before I needed to start taking medications.   Jeremiah 1:5 assures me that “Before I (God) formed you in the womb I knew you….”    Growing up in a Christian family, I often received those benefits of God’s blessing through my parents, a Sunday school teacher, a youth worker, my teenage friends, a local pastor, professors at my Christian College or camp counselors.   Granted, I often either didn’t recognize or appreciate what they were bringing to me, but the “box” had been delivered and the contents were there for my benefit.

In the same way, God has constantly been stopping by the door of my life and leaving behind a blessing through the reading of His Word.   How many times have I read just the right verse at just the right time for just the right reason?   It happened this week when I was going through a tough couple of days and I came across Psalms 34:18, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit”.  That truth couldn’t have been more meaningful even if it had been gift wrapped and delivered with balloons to my front door along with a singing telegram. It brought comfort, peace and an opportunity to relax knowing God was in control.

The “Wells Fargo Wagon” hasn’t come down my street with “something special just for me”, but God seems to deliver things on a regular basis.   It comes through song on the radio, a point in a sermon, in my own preparation to teach a class, during those rare moments of silence, when I walk around my neighborhood late at night, through a phone conversation with a friend, or via an email or text.  Sometimes that box of blessings comes directly from the Bible as He brings scripture to my mind.  At other times it’s that still quiet voice, that impression that I’m not walking across the sands of my life alone.  Then there are the times when I receive that unexpected blessing, an answer to prayer, a clear sense of direction, or a “God wink” – an unexplainable sense that God knows what’s going on in my life.   These are all “boxed blessings” that I’m anxious to receive, even when I know they are coming.

However, sometimes those “boxed blessings” come disguised as problems or difficulties.  How could the loss of a job be a blessing? Or the death of a friend?  Or the financial setback?  Or the long traffic delay?   Admittedly, I don’t always see the blessings in such circumstances.   The rebuke or correction by a trusted friend may be good for me, but I don’t enjoy it.   Going through radiation treatments this past year was not enjoyable, but it certainly gave me cause to re-evaluate some things in my life.  Being misunderstood by those I love the most is heart-breaking, but provides motivation to improve in my relationships.  Finding myself in the middle of an internal conflict at the church where I serve is frustrating, but opens the door for me to truly minister to others on both sides of the issues.

The best boxes I’ve ever received are wrapped up in the promises of God.  Over and over again in scripture I find the encouragement that comes from God saying what He has already, or will one day, give to me. It’s hard to be depressed with there is so much “good news” in God’s Word.   Of course, you have to invest the time to read the Bible to find those boxes of blessing…..but that’s a small price to pay for such an incredible reward.  The promises of God are His free gift for all those who will acknowledge him.  Who would want to turn down such a free offer?

The reality is that our “box blessings” come in all shapes and sizes.  Some  seem like they are wrapped up with pretty bows and just waiting for us to rip them open, But others look like those boxes that have been squished and deformed in transit,  seeming creating more problems for us than solutions.  Yet I would submit, we should welcome each of them into our lives and open them up with anticipation of what God can do in and through that “blessing” to help us be a better reflection of who He is.

I’m grateful God is in the delivery business.   While a box of medications may not excite a lot of people, it really does excite me.  I’m assuming the next time I get such a box delivered to my door I’ll be just as eager as I was yesterday to open it up and see what was inside.  The promises held in that box will hopefully extend my life and help me enjoy it to the fullest.   And the promises held in God’s Word will give me the strength I need to open a few other boxes that are not always quite as enjoyable, but still ultimately serve as a blessing to my life.

I want to encourage my readers today – look for that box sitting on the doorstep of your life.   It may surprise you when you open it, but I can assure you even if it’s a box filled with challenges, that God can and will help you find the blessing in His delivery!!!  Here’s to ripping open our boxes with gusto!!!