Gifts Mirror God’s Generosity
by Marlene Houk
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
I bent, twitched the washcloth from the cabinet and blotted my face. When I opened my eyes, the sight catapulted me back thirty-seven years. Draped over my hands lay a present from our wedding. It had survived unbelievable odds, incredible feats of cleaning, and two teenagers, its memories, helping me celebrate our wedding anniversary today. My hands had handled that same washcloth so many years ago, a gift from close friends who wished us well on our matrimonial journey. The power of that gift still gave me pleasure and sweet memories years later. How could a white washcloth last thirty-seven years? Through countless swipes at chubby baby cheeks, narrowly missed destruction by teens racing headlong through life, and precarious clinging to the same family proved miraculous. And, yet, here its somewhat faded glory lay calmly in my palms. But, oh the significance of that faded white proved priceless to me.
The lush pile, worn to a thin layer by two generations reminded me of a spiritual analogy in the Bible. There, gifts weave the threads of generosity, reconciliation, affirmation, and, most importantly, spiritual blessings into Bible stories of epic proportions. For example, the Israelites bestowed so much upon the builders of the tabernacle that they had to tell them to stop giving so generously. (Exodus 36:7) Jacob gifted Esau with 550 animals as a sign of his willingness to restore their broken relationship. (Genesis 32:14-15) And the wise men bestowed upon the baby Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, affirming that He was King, God, and Savior. (Matthew 2:11) Many times in the Scriptures, the word picture of a gift switches to a heavenly perspective. God lavishes gifts upon His children that empower them with hope, understanding, faith, and the ability to transcend petty earthly emotion. These include grace (Ephesians 4:7), righteousness (Romans 5:17), the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38), living water (John 4:10), practical spiritual gifts to offer in service to the body of Christ (Romans 12:5-6), and eternal life (Romans 6:23), etc.
The next time you ponder your choice of a baby shower, wedding or birthday gift, consider its potential to leave a fragrance of friendship and care, bringing a smile for possible decades after the event. And don’t forget that we mirror the Giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17) as we present our carefully chosen treasures to others.
The companion to the washcloth, the towel, survived also, a testament to the friendship of its giver and a reminder to me of the LORD’s rich spiritual gifts to us that we can enjoy for eternity.
Marlene Houk is a regular contributor to Blue Ridge Christain News. Her passion is to delve deeply into the truths of Bible women and to discuss those in Bible Studies called Backstage Pass to Bible Women. She and her husband discover joy, nurture, and challenge in their church. Her contact is firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can purchase her book, Hidden in a List: secrets from Bible women, on Amazon HERE.