The package lay on the table. It was wrapped in beautiful paper with a shiny bow. The tag said, Love, Daddy. I opened it and stared in dismay at what lay inside. It was a dress. But... the color was all wrong for me. And the fit - well, it did fit but it was so uncomfortable, not me at all. I shoved the gift back in its box and set it aside in an out of the way closet.
Later that day, Daddy came to find me. "Daughter," he said, "where is the gift I gave you? Why aren't you wearing it?"
I hesitated, looked at the ground and then the ceiling. "Um, well, I, well, that is, I put it away for now," I stammered.
"But, Daughter, I chose that for you because I knew it was just what you needed."
Finally, in frustration, I blurted, "But it's the wrong color and it's not comfortable and it, well, it just wasn't what I wanted. Not at all - how could you say it's good for me?"
"Don't you trust me to give you good things?" my Father asked gently.
"I do, but everyone makes mistakes," I said. "If you would just let me show you what I want, it would work so much better."
"No, that is what I chose for you," he said. "It is what you need, but it is your choice whether you will accept it and wear it."
That night, I couldn't get the look of sorrow my Daddy's face held. So, the next morning, I pulled the box out of the closet. I smoothed my hand over the rumpled fabric. Maybe the color wasn't so bad. I pulled it on and it still did not feel comfortable. Yet, I decided I would wear it. I would accept this gift my Father gave me and even though it wasn't what I would choose myself, I would be thankful my father gave it to me.
When my Father saw me the next day, his face lit up and his smile warmed my heart. "Daughter, you look beautiful."
Strangely, even though I originally thought the color was wrong and the fit was wrong, every time I wore the dress, people would comment on how radiant I looked; how it brought out things in me they never noticed before. I wore the dress for years, and it became a favorite - a visible reminder of my Father's love for me.