I recently heard Ann Graham Lotz (Billy Graham's daughter) tell a story about receiving a birthday gift from her mother. She said the gift came in the mail and when she opened it, inside was a colorful basket stuffed with tissue paper. She said it was unlike her mother to send such a gift because the postage probably cost more than the basket, but she dutifully called to thank her. Her mother laughed and asked if she liked her real gift. Ann said she thought the basket was her gift and that it had only been filled with tissue paper. Her mother said to look in the tissue paper. When Ann said she had thrown the paper away her mother said to get it out of the trash because her real gift was in the paper. She retrieved the paper (all the time she was telling this, I was hoping the trash man had not yet come), looked inside and discovered a beautiful lapis lazuli ring. It turned out her mother had connections with the British Embassy and someone there had given her this ring. The lapis lazuli in the ring was a piece of tile from the floor of Queen Esther's palace. The ring was priceless and Ann had thrown it away. She hadn't recognized it as a gift because of the way it was wrapped.
Aren't we like that? God says He gives only good gifts to His children, and that He makes all things work together for our good, but when something happens to us that we don't like--that isn't our idea of what a good gift should look like--we immediately complain, reject it, and try to throw it away, instead of recognizing there could be a priceless treasure wrapped inside.
I don't know about you, but I want to see everything that comes my way as a gift that God has either sent, or, in the case of seemingly bad things like death, illness, etc., allowed. I am determined to find the priceless treasure wrapped in what seems to be ugly, or useless, tissue paper.