I was out doing last minute gift shopping with my mom right before Christmas (hers, not mine), and my daughter started texting me. Once she found out where we were, she got all excited about a La-Di-Da doll she wanted, telling me every last detail and I’m sure, praying it was imprinted on my brain. When I informed her that I already had all my shopping done, she matter-of-factly asked if I couldn’t just return what I got her and buy that doll, because after all, it is definitely what she wanted. Definitely … three days before Christmas. After a little bit of reasoning, I simply told her no, and explained that although she may feel right then that that doll was what she absolutely wanted for Christmas, the thing I got her was something she talked about all year long. She sent me a “(sigh) ok,” and the conversation dwindled from there.
This has literally haunted me since. The awful truth is that we are just like her in many ways toward our heavenly Father. Very sure of things that are momentarily satisfying, and hardly willing to thankfully accept a gift we’ve been crying out for because at the moment, it doesn’t seem like what we want. I’m guilty.
As a mother, I know the careful consideration that goes into choosing gifts for kids. I don’t buy mine everything, and the things I do buy are things I know they will appreciate and use. I study them. I notice their tastes changing and their hobbies evolving, and I try to be pragmatic in my gift giving. So I knew that the gift I bought her was something she would use often, and I also knew that this doll would be played with a few times and spend the rest of the year in a basket with the other twiggies on her dresser. And that was what determined my decision.
Likewise, our Father in Heaven knows us well. He stitched us together in our mothers’ wombs, for crying out loud (Psalm 139). He created every feeling inside us, every personality trait, every characteristic that defines who we are. He knows us very intimately. He also knows our daily tendencies. And He gives gifts in accordance with who He knows we are. I believe He also gives gifts in accordance with our heart-cry, not because of momentary affections that will fade with time. Just like my daughter, we give clues daily about what the perfect gift would be. We are drawn to some things like they are calling out to us, while others excite us by quickly catching our gaze. But the relationship between us and the perfect gift will far outlast the relationship between us and what we think we want right now.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17)