One of my absolute favorite parts of the Christmas season is gift shopping for loved ones. While I’m browsing through Amazon online or walking around the store, I have this image of the perfect gift floating around in my brain. And I won’t quit or settle until I find the perfect gift. The one that says, “I love and appreciate you for who you are.”
Weird, I know. But I want the present to be a reflection of our relationship, of their importance to me.
Because of my seemingly philosophic and occasionally stressful approach to gift shopping it often takes a lot more time for me to get the shopping done. In the end though it’s worth all the struggle when the friend or family member opens opens their gift and their faces light up.
Isn’t that true for all of us? We love to receive gifts that show someone cares about us and knows us intimately. We like gifts that are especially chosen for us, that someone took time to consider.
Matthew 7:9-11 reads as following with Jesus addressing His followers in relation to prayer:
9 Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone?
10 Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he?
11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven given what is good to those who ask Him?
As I reread this passage, the Lord spoke to my heart regarding to two examples Jesus gave about good gifts. Loaf and fish.
Remember one of Jesus’ miracles during his ministry on earth when He multiplied the loaves and the fish to feed the multitude?
Isaiah 55:2 reads, “Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And delight yourself in abundance.” (emphasis added)
You see, the God of the universe, the God who is Alpha and Omega, beginning and the end, designed you uniquely. We are all made in His image, but He has given your life a plan all its own.
You know that thing you’ve been praying for? That future spouse, that move, that health issue, that job opportunity, whatever. God doesn’t want to give you a gift that hurts rather than helps you.
And when we, like little children, see His promises as gifts under the Christmas tree, our anxious hands start reaching towards the wrapping paper. We want to rip the present open right when we see it. We can’t wait.
Like Christmas gifts are meant to be opened on that special day, so God has appointed an anointed day for your breakthrough. It won’t come too early and it won’t come too late. God knows exactly when to give you that gift and He has a perfect reason for why it was then and not any other time.
I believe the verses in Matthew 7 and Isaiah 55 tell us that God wants us to be given gifts that satisfy. I’m not saying gifts that are meant to fill the God-sized void in our souls that only God can fill, but rather gifts that reveal God’s goodness.
I think all too often we get impatient and we settle for rocks instead of bread. Rocks do nothing but weigh us down. Bread, on the other hand, offers life and nutrients; it helps strengthen us to press forward.
Gifts open before their appointed time can become burdens. Impatience can hinder blessing.
I encourage us to wait on God’s perfect timing, to walk in the knowledge that He loves us enough to want the best for us. He knows how to give good gifts to His children.
After all, the greatest gift we could ever ask for was given by God to us some 2,000 years ago in the form of Jesus Christ. He is the Bread of Life, the sustenance our souls crave day in and day out. He is the Living Water that quenches our thirst for something more. He is the Prince of Peace, Emmanuel, Lion and the Lamb, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.
I could go on and on!
If God could send His only Son to die for us on a cross and to rise in three days, don’t you think He knows what is best for us? That He may be withholding generic from you because He has specific intended.