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December 1, 2008

Opening Rough Packages

He who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Hebrews 11:6

“Sometimes diamonds are done up in rough packages, so that their value cannot be seen,” wrote Dr. A. B. Simpson. “When the Tabernacle was built in the wilderness there was nothing rich in its outside appearance. The costly things were all within, and its outward covering of rough badger skin gave no hint of the valuable things which it contained.

“God may send you, dear friends, some costly packages. Do not worry if they are done up in rough wrappings. You may be sure there are treasures of love, and kindness, and wisdom hidden within. If we take what He sends, and trust Him for the goodness in it, even in the dark, we shall learn the meaning of the secrets of Providence.”

After fire destroyed Haddock Inn in 1913, Richard Forrest commented that those who remained at the college “had to start from below bottom.” It certainly seemed as though God had given him a very “rough package” to open. To make matters worse: while the Inn’s remains were still smoldering, creditors showed up seeking the payment of twenty thousand dollars—the amount that remained of a twenty-five thousand dollar mortgage.

Has God sent you a particularly rough package—something that seems much too hard for you to open? Don’t be quick to set His package aside. Ask Him to show you why He has allowed the pressure, the sorrow, or the stress to touch your life. You can be sure that He will use each and every adversity to prepare you for a much greater blessing.

As a side note: as soon as Dr. Simpson heard of the tragedy at Toccoa Falls, he responded with a letter of encouragement “Don’t give up; you are on to something” he wrote and with his letter he included a personal check of a thousand dollars — so the work could continue. And it has for 101 years!

(Taken from the online devotional book Grace in The Wilderness © 2008