“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17 ESV).
I like getting presents. I like giving them too, but I think I like getting them even more.
Some gifts are disappointing, except for the effort of the giver, like that really ugly sweater your Nana made for you that you’ll never wear. You appreciate that she valued you so highly that she spent so much time knitting it, but the colors are awful and it’s two sizes too big!
Some gifts are nice, but you have no real use for them, like a nice coffee table book on farming in the 1800’s when you have neither a coffee table nor any interest in farming. It’s a fine book, but not a lot of thought went into it. You have no use for it.
Still others are the good gifts, the ones that you probably wouldn’t have gotten yourself, but for which you have a use. Like the new dehydrator you could use to make jerky, or the fancy set of grilling utensils.
And then you have the perfect gifts. You know the ones! The new guitar you’ve had your eye on for months. The latest smartphone. The new gazebo for the back yard. The things we really want, whether we need them or not! These are the gifts we want to get for our children, to see their eyes light up with joy.
James tells us that our heavenly Father gives us “every good gift.” That means He makes sure that we have the things we need whether or not we realize our need for them yet! And as a side note, He makes sure we have the things we need when we need them, not necessarily when we think we need them. Sometimes the timing of a gift is just as important as the gift itself. Amen?
“Every perfect gift” comes from Him as well. I’m not saying that if you have faith you can get a new car, house, airplane…. I’m saying that every perfect gift has its origin in our Father in heaven. He knows the desires of our hearts and longs to provide them, but only if those desired things or situations are for our good. A perfect gift takes that into account, too.
It’s like when God looked down on mankind and saw within us an emptiness that we were trying to fill with all of the wrong things and in all of the wrong places. In our sinful state we didn’t know what we needed, but we sure had a deep desire for it. He recognized our need for a Savior and sent His Son. His great love for us, and Jesus’ great love for us, outweighed the cost required to reconcile us to Him.
Relationship with Him is what we wanted and needed more than anything.
The perfect Gift.