The Perfect Gift


A coworker e-mailed pictures of the chest of drawers her husband had made for their newborn daughter, Alana. I had no idea the young man was a woodworker, but judging from the photographs, he is a talented carpenter. Alana’s father had planned ahead, looking forward to the day when she will outgrow girlish taste. The lines of the dresser are simple and clean, a style that will fit into Alana’s house when she herself is a mother or even a grandmother. Her father designed it to last a lifetime.

I thought of our heavenly Father and how He longs to give us good gifts. “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1). And Jesus told us that as God’s children, we should expect to receive His love in abundance: “‘If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!’” (Matt. 7:11).

God wants to give us the greatest gift of all, and His plan for us cannot be separated from His character. He is the good Father, the loving Son, the omniscient Counselor. His will for us is that we should be saved, and He works in our hearts to bring about our sanctification. He wants to heal us—not only of physical disease and infirmity but of our emotional wounds as well. All this is to make us fit for His Kingdom—the one both already here and yet to be, when He comes again to reign over all creation.

Alana may draw on her perfect dresser with crayons, or she may decide to repaint it. She may cover it with stickers and then sand it down to the solid, bare wood and start over. But the design is always going to stay the same, as sturdy and solid as the day her father gave it to her. Like that solid chest of drawers, we can adapt the surface of our church life—we can tailor ministry to fit our community and model worship on the tastes of whatever family of faith we are part of. But the solid foundation must be based upon the character of God, whose will for us is always to draw us closer to His holiness, His wholeness and His Kingdom.

The Father’s perfect gift to us is Himself—our Savior, Sanctifier, Healer and Coming King. And that gift will last a lifetime—and beyond—if we accept it.

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