I am sure every one of you reading this has received and given many gifts. Some have probably been small and insignificant (every white elephant Christmas gathering you’ve ever attended) and some have probably been costly and important. Let me share a few of my favorite gifts with you that I’ve received.
I’m looking at two of my favorite gifts as I am writing this chapter. One is a water color painting of the skyline in St. Augustine, Florida drawn from the viewpoint of the Bridge of Lions. I studied at Flagler College in that beautiful north Florida coastal town and for the last two years daily drove over this bridge and got stuck at the drawbridge. I loved this town and all that it brought into my life: a wonderful church, mentors, and friends. My mentors gave me this as I graduated from college. I loved it and have always wanted to have a home to display it in. We have it in our apartment on the mantel as a gorgeous reminder of home and friendship.
Another favorite gift I’ve received is my engagement ring. When a girl has waited so long for something to important – it better be good! Most typical girls I know have searched the websites and looked in jewelry stores picking out their ideal engagement ring; I was no different. I didn’t want a solitaire because I was afraid it would get caught in my hair or messed up with food as a I was cooking. I wanted the main stone to be flat and round. I, like any smart girl, told both of my best friends what I desired in a ring. My smart boyfriend asked them what I liked. He then picked out the ring himself. When my best friend saw it weeks before he proposed, she knew I would LOVE it. And believe me, I did. Even now, I sit and stare at it as the light bounces off the shiny stones and reflects its warmth. It is a sign of my husband’s love for me, not because it is shiny and pretty, but because he thought of me when he was buying it.
These two gifts are reflective of the love and relationship of the people who gave it to me. My mentors and my husband are definitely 2 of the most important earthly relationships that I have. These gifts are earthly – one will collect dust and the other will need to be cleaned to keep its sparkle.
What is a gift? A gift is something undeserved. Did I deserve an engagement ring? No. Did I deserve a beautiful painting? No. If I had, these would not be gifts, but more like paychecks. They wouldn’t mean as much either. But, because both parties desired to give me something just to show their love for me, these gifts meant so much more. Thankfully, they gave, because I didn’t deserve either one of them. God demonstrates Himself to be a gracious giver to us time after time in Scripture. This giving demeanor is still true in our lives today. Let’s take a look at James 1 and see what this little book says about God’s giving nature.
James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”