The Father of Lights | Britney O’Hara
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”
It’s important to know this, that God is the ultimate source of all things in our lives. Yes, all things, specifically good and perfect gifts as seen in James 1:17, but also every other facet of our existence. (In the end, we trust that all things will work together for the good of those who love him anyway. Romans 8:28) This is a reality that holds so much weight and value when it begins to sink from our heads to our hearts. The reason it’s so crucial for this truth to become an innate understanding within us is that it brings us to a mindset that trusts the hand of our Giver and sets our hearts on the gifts that bring glory to his name. These are the gifts that he wants us to ask for and delights in giving us! However, learning to trust his hand, knowing that there is a reason (sometimes beyond our understanding) for his withholding or denying our requests, can be a painful process.
We are all placed in seasons of desiring and waiting for what we want throughout the entirety of our lives. When brought to that place where we are left wanting, it puts us in a position where we have a decision to place our hearts on either the Giver or simply on the gift. Those are the moments that expose the position of our hearts. The reason I say this is because if the extent of the desire is placed on the gift, then we are losing out on seeing the deeper longing that the desire is pointing to.
Good and Perfect Gifts
It’s easy to point out quickly some obvious examples of good and perfect gifts. Whether in your own life or in those around you, you can see the joys that come with having a loving family and good friends, love and laughter, delicious food and beautiful weather, good health and relaxing evenings. This is just the beginning of a list that seems inexhaustible. This isn’t the point of what I am trying to get at, but as I am writing this list it reminded me of all the times in Scripture when we are told to give thanks to God. With lives filled with gifts like these, that should never be a hard thing to do! But I want to challenge us to start rethinking by expanding what we call good and perfect in our lives.
I’m going to start simply by sharing with you how I have redefined good in my own life. Anything that is from the hand of God, meant to shape me more into the image of Christ, is a good gift. This may seem vague, and sometimes it feels that way, but it has helped me redirect my heart and mind to accepting whatever the Lord chooses to give, trusting his leading in my life.
Here is another hard lesson that falls under the topic of gifts coming down from above. We have to hold these things with an open hand. This is also a process of trust because we know that the Lord will do what is best for his own. Sometimes that is giving, sometimes it’s withholding, but then sometimes it is removing. That removal could be something that we considered a good and perfect gift from above, but all things must be placed on the table when following Christ.
What is revealed when we do not hold our hands out openly is that we are not fully satisfied in Christ. Instead, we are often times either holding tightly onto something that has been given to us or we are coveting over something that we do not possess. In either case, we have made an idol in our hearts. The most loving thing that God could do for us in those moments is revealed what is happening in our hearts and woo us back into his fully satisfying presence. Many times it is the case that he has to remove that idol in order to expose our hearts.
The beautiful result of setting our hearts on the Giver of the gift rather than the gift itself is that we become aware that it is God who is meant to satisfy our deepest longings. It’s my prayer that day by day we begin to see and want this more and more. After all, that is what we are made for, to enjoy him forever, why not start now.