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There was a beautiful woman who bought a special box. The box was white as snow and tied with a lovely red velvet ribbon. One would think inside the box was a wonderful gift. However, the woman kept the box to herself. Day after day, she would open the box and throw trash in it. After days, weeks, and years of carrying this box, the woman grew tired and weary of carrying the heavy box. One day in a park, she sat on a bench placing the box beside her. A kind man noticed her and sat beside her. He asks the woman why she looked so unhappy. She laughed, not wanting to expose her true feelings. Then, almost as quickly as her laughing ended, she cried. The man handed to her his handkerchief. Then he asks her why she is crying. Unable to hold it in any longer, she starts to tell him the truth.

She says, “I bought this box a long time ago. Inside it, I have placed trash for every time I was disappointed, sad, angry, frustrated, basically whenever I felt bad. The outside is beautiful, which is what I wanted everyone to see. Yet, inside it is garbage. I am exhausted from carrying this box with me everywhere, I go.”

The kind man, then asks if he could have the box. The women looked puzzled at his question.

The kind man repeats the question, “Can I have the box?”

She says, “Yes. What will you do with it?”

The kind man smiles and says, “I will use the trash as fertilizer for my garden.”

She starts to smile. “Sir, you are so kind to take this from me. May I ask your name?

The kind man answers, “Jesus. I can take every disappointment, frustrating, sorrowful, and angry moment and use it as fertilizer for my garden to grow beautiful flowers of joy, peace, forgiveness, and love. My garden is in your heart.”

Then he stood, placed his hand on her face and smiled.

She sat in amazement and felt encouraged, as she watched him walk away with her gift.

*****

Have you ever been this woman? I wrote this story because, at times, I am her.

Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28, NIV).”

There is no need to carry that box. Join me in ridding ourselves of this box  and being open for the blessings of 2015 and the rest of our lives. Happy New Year!

Marva

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