It's that season again...a holiday season filled with givings of all things good...and the occasional lump of coal.
We search for the "perfect" gifts for our friends and loved ones, often spending hours scouring store shelves or page after page on the internet. We look for the perfect gift that will make the receiver feel special, cared for, and deeply loved. With such intense striving, I often wonder how we ever arrived at the phrase, "it's the thought that counts." Shouldn't a tiny box filled with a little treasure be just as exciting and make just as much of a statement as the shiny, new, red sports-car sitting in the driveway on Christmas morning?
I'm reminded of James 1:17, "Every good and perfect gift is from above..." - what a blessed truth to hang our hats upon in this crazy world we live in today. While stores are preparing their Black Friday circulars and store displays for record sales, I'm reminded once again of where the best gifts come from.
We can get some pretty awesome stuff at Kirklands, get great buys at Khols or rack up on the BOGO sales at Bath & Body, but I'd dare say the best gifts don't come from these places or any other department stores we might name either for that matter. Sure, goodies from these stores bring a smile to our faces, but I think the best thing about those gifts are simply the underlying facts of who gave them to us and that we'll think of them every time we use or glance at the item.
The newness will wear off, but we'll never forget the giver.
I'm not one to want to open gifts in front of anyone. My preference is to take my surprise and go into my room, away from everyone, and savor every moment of unwrapping, carefully opening a box with much tenderness and being able to enjoy the moment completely uninterrupted. When I give a gift, I usually take as much time in the presentation as in the actual searching for the gift that will be just right. I enjoy making memories of every moment.
Then, I think about the best Gift Giver I know. He is the giver of every good and perfect gift...and, He's constantly giving to me. Every day. He wraps each priceless gift up in a unique package and if I open it correctly, I'll never forget who gave it to me and will treasure it always. Such sweet memories of how He came thru at just the right time and offered me peace. How, just when I thought I couldn't make it any more, He lifted me up on wings as eagles.
His gifts aren't always tangible, but are always good and perfect.
After all, who can put a price on peace of mind? Who can really estimate the value of having sustainable hope? Unconditional love? How much would you pay for an eternity spent walking with and worshiping Him on streets of gold? Yes, these are only a few of the many gifts He gives us that can't really be unwrapped with our physical hands, yet they warm our hearts and bring such wholeness to our lives. The true definition and meaning behind the phrase "abundant life" - and it can only come from the Perfect Gift Giver.
So, while you're searching for that perfect gift to give to your family or friends, let's not forget to stop long enough to receive and fully appreciate those gifts God longs to give to us - on a daily basis. We are cared for and deeply loved beyond imagination. He goes out of His way to give only the best gifts.
Let's stop what we're doing today and just take a moment to pause and receive all He has for us, and let's give something back to Him too. The gift He desires most, the best gift we can give to Him, is to offer our lives and hearts to Him unreservedly.