James 1:17 says “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
We were doing some Christmas shopping and got stuck in a traffic jam. Waiting to move forward, my husband looked to me and said, “And what about you? What would you like for a Christmas gift this year?”
I extended my hand to his nose to see what he thought about the new perfume I had sampled in the store. He liked it. Then I suggested maybe a bird feeder or some gardening clippers. He nodded. Or a new sauce pan. He perked up. I couldn’t get very enthusiastic about wanting anything and then the traffic moved and thankfully, we moved on in our conversation.
I kept thinking about the question: what do I really want? Oh, I can always give out a list of material things. I can find pleasure in the material world. But it never satisfies me. My daughter witnessed this short satisfaction every day in the department store where she worked. People frantic to get just the right one – the one that just came out in the catalog. But a new catalog arrives every two weeks and the styles change. We keep on temporarily fixing ourselves with the temporary. It’s like the perfume that smells so good and then it fades away and we need more.
The real list lies somewhere down in my heart and wants to cry out, ” I want a broken life to mend. I want a family together. I want an end to the names of fallen soldiers called out each Sunday. I want my heart to feel strong. I want no more cancer for Shirley and Jack and Diane and Ed and Mary Claire. I want a miracle for little Patrick and 2-year-old Maggie. And I want a peace about all of this and I want it to begin with me.”
But wait. It is just over one week until Christmas and I have already received the best gift I could ever receive. It’s Jesus. He is the one who can take my heart’s list and check off each one to perfection. My job is to keep receiving His wondrous gift. It is a sweet aroma that will never fade or change. It is completion.