James 1:17 – But whatever is good and perfect comes to us from God, the Creator of all light, and he shines forever without change or shadow. (TLB)
As we approach the Christmas season, it isn't unusual for those who celebrate it with presents, to buy gifts and hide them. Often, as used to be my practice, gifts will be purchased throughout the year as they are either available or on sale, or both, and then tucked away, hopefully in a place known only to the purchaser.
Primarily, this takes the burden and stress off doing the shopping for everyone all at once. But no matter when the gift is chosen, the end purpose is still the anticipation of giving the receiver much joy and happiness.
All that the giver would appreciate in return is a word of thanks.
Our God is the giver of never-ending gifts: some, apparent; some, hidden for a time; all, with His anticipation that we will be pleased and thankful for what He has given.
We don't always see or acknowledge the gifts we are given — materially, spiritually, divinely. And while I may think that I'm ever-thankful, this lesson is often poignantly pointed out to me through photography, as recently as this past summer.
A Steller's Jay in a tree was pointed out to me, and so focused was I on getting a good photo of the Steller's Jay, that it wasn't until I'd developed the image, that I saw another bird, a Mourning Dove, sitting quietly on a branch in the background.
Another time, I was photographing a flock of seagulls as they flew off from their gathering on the ocean. When I had the photo developed, what I'd thought to be a spot on the lens, turned out to be a beautiful eagle.
Just as one might wonder how they didn't see or find the gifts hidden for Christmas or birthdays, it is even more curious that we could miss the gifts God gives us right before our very eyes.
They are there — every day. Those we miss are hopefully seen by someone else. The one gift we must always remember is the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ.
John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (NKJV)
Prayer: Our Father of light and love, may we be ever mindful of the gifts we are given every day. And as the excitement of the Christmas season approaches, may we keep in mind You and the ultimate gift You have given us, Your Son, Jesus Christ: the joy of His birth; the sacrifice of His death; the gift of life everlasting in His resurrection. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, we pray and give thanks for this day. Amen.