Perfect Gift

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights..." - Jas 1:17 ESV.

Practically every manufactured good that can be purchased today comes from China. Not that I'm complaining. Unless of course when I thought that picture that I saw in the online store is what I'm getting when I purchased it, only to find out that the actual object is way off compared to the picture.

I remember one time Jane mentioning how she liked to have a Japanese umbrella or something similar used in bride pictorials - you know the one made with lace and usually colored white. Those of you who know her have seen how she likes to do dressed-up pictorials and that's what she had in mind for it. I thought I found the perfect one online and quickly clicked the Purchase Now button. I excitedly waited for the item as I intended to give it to her as a gift. When the item arrived, it came in a 3"x3"x10" box. My "perfect" gift was a miniature.

There are so many "shiny" gift items we can see in stores and stalls. Many of them look attractive and  well made. But behind the shiny paint job and the attractive design, the underlying materials may last only a few days. Some won't even stand a slight bump, a small drop, much less rough use. The appearance of being well-made is only superficial. In short, when you're looking for something really perfect, you'll have much difficulty finding one. For this is usually the principle that governs all things created: nothing less than perfection can create perfection. 

There are products or human creations that may last a lifetime, some may survive many generations and others may appear to last forever. But even those which last very long don't maintain their original state. They all breakdown and deteriorate. It's the law of nature. If you're looking for that which is perfect, there's only one place where it can come from and it doesn't come in a box with a print that says "Made in Japan" or "Made in Germany".

The bible tells us that "every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming from the Father of lights." Anything from heaven should be perfect because it meets the requirement for perfect things which is that it should come from a perfect place and made by a perfect being. Whether that which we receive from God is a thing, a person, an opportunity, a set of circumstances or anything at all, it should be perfect.

I understand the temptation of questioning the accuracy of that verse. For a mother whose child is born with abnormality, she would rather hang a big question mark over that statement. For a person who has just lost a well-paying job, that statement will make no sense at all. Many of us will struggle to find a good reason for the many ills that befall us. But you see we are also told that God doesn't think the way we do and He doesn't wish ill for any of us. In fact His plan is to prosper us and not to harm us. Anything He allows to come our way is for our good . The burden then of finding what is good and perfect in what we receive is upon us. The answers may not always be immediate but if we have the patience and the diligence to seek it we would usually find it. If it appears less than perfect, we owe it to the gift giver to look deeper, don't we? If He who is perfect can't be mistaken, then we are and we should correct it if we can.

A child that had to be mostly cared for is the perfect child to build a motherly character that has compassion for the weak. A loss of a job is the perfect situation to discover one's hidden talent or to find a better replacement. A serious sickness is the perfect object lesson on trusting the Lord with our life and sometimes our all. Therefore, whatever it is that God sends down upon us from heaven, we ought to receive with thanksgiving as a gift for once we discover why He picked that one for us, then we would have made use of all that the "gift" has to give so that we too can be perfectly molded toward our own future perfection in Christ Jesus. For this is the ultimate goal of all things coming from above: that "...we all are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit" (2Cor 3:18). And that image is the image of God's Son. Nothing else can have this effect upon us except that which is from a perfect God.