So my friends, don’t be fooled by your own desires! Every gift God freely gives us is good and perfect, streaming down from the Father of lights, who shines from the heavens with no hidden shadow or darkness.
I was so excited. My son was finally at the age when Christmas is fun for a little boy – and his mom. He hurried to the tree that morning, not quite sure of what to do, but quickly learned that tearing paper would be his task for the morning. From one to the next he tore open presents and jumped in delight at all of his new toys. When the chaos ended, my little one walked around, a red ribbon stuck to his back side, hanging down like a tail, wondering if there were any more presents. I gently let him know he had come to the end and redirected him back to the toys buried under the wrapping paper. I happily went off to make breakfast only to look back in the living room to see my cute little boy, on his first Christmas, was not playing with his toys at all. Instead, he had found a box to climb in and out of. Just a plain old box, worn from his jumping, barely staying in its original square form. As I again redirected him to his toys, he once again chose the box. I was devastated. Why would he want the box rather than what I had painstakingly searched for in the store and intricately wrapped with that very ribbon still sticking to his backside? It only took one conversation with his grandparents to learn that just about every child prefers playing with a box instead of toys on Christmas Day. I was relieved yet still a little sad that what I chose for him wasn’t what he wanted.
I think God can relate. He has our whole life planned out for us but much like a child on their first Christmas, we know what we want instead and think it is far better. I hesitate to think we always do it consciously, but regardless of how we got there, we chose the box instead of His gifts. Despite how attractive our choices look, they are still plain, brown boxes, worn from the sins of the world.
As James mentions in Scripture, “every gift God freely gives us is perfect”. Perfect can mean a lot of different things to a lot of people, but if we look at the word in the Aramaic translation (mshamlaita), perfect means complete, wholesome, abundant, sufficient, enough. He gives us everything we need! Why would we want anything else?