July 14, 2010
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."
James 1:17 (NIV)
Yesterday was my birthday and birthdays mean gifts! My family is very good about gift-giving and tends to give me something I might have mentioned that I like, but really wouldn't buy for myself. Whatever they choose, they always pick just the right thing at the right time. Several years ago…ok, many, many years ago…for my sweet 16 birthday, my parents gave me a unique keychain with a key to their car. I loved it! That key represented freedom and independence. Exactly what I was craving at that time. It was the right gift at the right time.
If my parents had given me that same gift when I was six, it would have been very strange and inappropriate. At six, I would have wondered what it was for and how to use it. My parents knew what to give and when to give it.
In James 1:17 we are told that God our Father gives good gifts to us, His children. Not only does He give good gifts, but He knows perfectly what to give and when to give it. His gifts are not spur of the moment because He forgot that a special day was on its way. His gifts are all about perfect timing.
When I was five, I couldn't reach my jacket that was hanging on the last peg just above the cement steps that led to our basement. I called out for help, but refused to wait. A tumble down those steps produced a black eye that stayed for a very long time. I didn't trust that those who loved me would come and do what I needed when I wanted it.
Many of us are asking God for help. We are crying out for something we need. The key is, can we wait patiently, trusting that His timing is perfect? Can we trust that He has our best in mind and is working on our behalf?
Sometimes we grow impatient. We want what we want and we want it now. So we make the mistake of trying to get it by ourselves. Have you ever tried to get something by yourself? Is there something in your life that you really want…now?
Is there one thing you feel if you could have, your life would be complete? If you could just have that job at that pay, life would be so much better. If God would just open your womb, the emptiness would finally be gone. If He would just heal your broken, cold marriage, your heart would be joyful. If He would just fulfill that lifelong dream, you would be content. Are you tempted, like me, to get that thing any way you can, even with the possibility you could end up with way more than a black eye?
There are times with all of our prayers He seems to answer "no" or at least "not now." It is here, where our desires intersect His will that we have to trust the Father knows best and every gift comes from Him. Every time, in His time, the gift is good and perfect.
I have seen God's perfect gifts in my life as I have waited on Him. Waited on Him for a husband. Waited on Him to open doors for ministry. Waited on Him to draw my kids to Himself. I see my history with Him and I'm going to choose to keep on waiting for His good and perfect gifts.
Dear Lord, waiting on You is so hard! My heart wants to get things moving, step up and take action. Help me to always bring my desires to You, knowing that You always have my best at heart. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Order Wendy Pope's CD What to Do in the W.A.I.T.: Finding Contentment in God's Pauses and Plans
Visit Lynn's blog to share and encourage others with your story of when you have waited and seen God's perfect and good gifts!
My Prince will Come: Getting Ready for My Lord's Return by Sheri Rose Shepherd
When God Says No, Keep Asking offers more free encouragement!
Walking with God in the Quiet Places: Devotions for Women by Various Authors including Lysa TerKeurst
Begin a "Thank You" notebook. Start out by writing your history with God. How have you seen His faithfulness and His good and perfect gifts unfold in your life?
Am I currently in a waiting place? Am I waiting in faith, expecting to see God's good and perfect gift or am I living in a place of frustration because He doesn't seem to be doing things my way in my time?
How can I begin to honor God while I am waiting?
What type of testimony am I writing each day that I am waiting?
Psalm 27:14, "Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD." (NIV)
Psalm 33:20, "We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield." (NIV)
© 2010 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Wednesday, 14 July 2010.