Delight exploded in my grandchildren's expressions when that perfect gift appeared beneath a veil of gaily wrapped Christmas paper. I could tell it was one they'd been wishing and hoping for. Belief crushed disbelief when the gift was actually in their possession. They could touch it, hold it, cradle it, inspect it, try it on, use it, or play with it--whatever the case might be. One thing is certain: it wasn't ignored or set aside. Coupled with their delight was the pure pleasure and thrill on the faces of those who gave that perfect gift. Days later I read a Scripture passage that gave me pause:
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17
We may think we have chosen the perfect gift-- the most exciting, most desired, most treasured-- but in reality our gifts pale in comparison to our Father's in Heaven. His grace and mercy and forgiveness are unequaled. His forbearance, compassion, and love cannot be duplicated. The most perfect of gifts to us is life itself through Jesus Christ who sacrificed the glory of heaven to come to earth and pour out His blood to pay for the sin in our impure, unholy lives. He paid the unreachable price to redeem our souls. We could never in a million lifetimes work hard enough, earn enough, or save enough to pay what Jesus paid for our eternal home.
Unlike gifts we unwrap for ourselves in celebration of His birth, the Father's gift does not tarnish, fall apart, fade or lose any value as it is used. In fact, the more we share His gift and give it away, the greater it becomes and the more joy we have. That perfect gift we give is not the shiny bracelet, or dazzling diamond earrings. It's not the car set, the crockpot or jacket. It is the love behind each gift...the sacrifice made by the giver of the gift. In many cases, it is no sacrifice at all for us. We give from our abundance. But all we have is because our Father grants it. All we are is because our Father allows it. What an amazing thought God gave me as I stored precious family memories in my cache of happiness this season. selahV