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. James 1:17 (ESV)
I have loved this verse for quite a long time, and over the years have spent time pondering good gifts. Of course there are the more obvious ones:
- Salvation (the best gift ever!)
But, what about the good gifts that we don’t recognize as good in the moment? What about the gifts that don’t seem like gifts at all? Or what about the gifts that we don’t realize how good they are until later? I have a few of those to share.
In the fall of 2000, I was at a women’s conference with a group of ladies from my church. While there, I wrote down a verse thinking, “I want to use this for my New Year’s card.” I also thought that it would be a good verse to encourage others. What was it?
Psalm 103:19 – “The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His sovereignty rules over all.” (NASB)
This verse was a good gift, and I didn’t even know it at the time. Five months later when both my parents were in the hospital (different hospitals) and my mom ended up passing away, this verse was a comfort to me. God’s love for me was so evident in Him giving me this verse (which I thought was to share with others), because He knew I would need it. He gave it before I realized it was for me.
Now that was a good gift.
A few years before that conference my husband left a job to go into business with his dad. Had he never left to work with his dad, there was a good chance that we would have been transferred to another state. Yet, in Texas, we lived about 10 minutes from my parents. So, when my dad was diagnosed with cancer for the second time, I was nearby to encourage my mom. And I was there to care for my dad when my mom unexpectedly passed away.
That was a good gift.
After my husband and his father closed their company, my husband did the job search thing. He applied for a position with a company he had connections with from his time building houses with his dad. The job was out-of-state, and he felt really good about it. Yet, he didn’t get the job. There was some discouragement during the job search season. However, he ended up getting hired by the company he had left, keeping us in Texas, close to his parents. A little over a year later, my husband’s parents were killed in a car wreck, and we were able to be there with his sisters. How good of God to keep us near family for that time.
That was a good gift.
I could also tell you of a car rental experience that went so very wrong but ended with us having a bigger and better suited vehicle for a family vacation. In the moment of frustration, I didn’t know God was going to give us a good gift.
I could share many more examples of God’s good gifts that don’t appear good at the time. I also imagine you have your own stories of His good gifts.
Stories of a lost job or a delayed job
Stories relating to the health of a loved one or yourself
Stories where you received a disappointing “no”
I also imagine some of you are waiting and wondering how a good gift could come from your circumstances.
I don’t know what you are going through, but here are two things I do know:
God’s sovereignty is ruling over ALL
God gives good and perfect gifts
Today I am praying that God will give us the eyes to see the good gifts He has already given and trust that He is the giver of good and perfect gifts yet to come.