Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 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. James 1:16-17
Years ago, I heard about a pastor who asked a six-year-old-girl in his congregation whether she wanted a baby brother or a baby sister.
Apparently the little girl's mother, who was still about two months away from delivery, had spent some time discussing the possibilities with her daughter. I say that because of the little girl's reply. With a sigh, and a tone which said she thought the preacher who had asked such a silly question might be just a little bit slow, the girl answered, "You know, Pastor, sometimes you just gotta take what God gives you."
How's that for a profound answer? Both profound and true.
Sadly, many people don't agree with the girl. When they think of the Lord, they imagine Him to be capricious and malevolent. Rather than believing He is the Giver of every good and perfect gift, they blame Him for all the sadness and sorrow they have ever encountered.
So, just what is it the Lord has given us?
Look to the Gospels and you will see how the Lord treats His lost and rebellious children. Rather than letting us eternally stew in our sins, the Lord sent His Son into the world to rescue us. Yes, look to the Gospels and there you will see Jesus correct those who were overly proud, and lift up those who were crushed down by guilt. Look to Scripture and see how Jesus befriended the lonely, offered forgiveness to those burdened by sin, and gave life to those who were dead in body and soul.
But there's more.
Look and see Jesus arrested. When they came for Him He was carrying our sins, every one of them. Still carrying those sins, He was condemned to die on the cross. There, on Golgotha's height, the Innocent was sacrificed to save the guilty. Then with His work of rescuing us having been completed, Jesus rose from the dead. You can check it out for yourself. Go to His sepulcher on Resurrection Sunday and see that the Lord has risen and left His empty burial clothes behind. Stand with the disciples in their locked room and receive the peace of the living Lord. Listen to Him as He shares the news of His victory over sin, death and devil. Receive His gift which says salvation is freely given to all who are brought to a saving faith in Him as the Savior. Yes, look to the Gospels and see how the risen Redeemer has promised to be with us and send His Holy Spirit, the Comforter, to give us hope and a new life.
Like the little girl said, sometimes you just have to receive the things the Lord gives us.
Thank God for those gifts!
Thank God you are a believer. Thank God for the fact that no matter what sorrow and sadness come your way, you have a Savior who cares about you and will carry your burdens. Thank God He is the Giver of every good and perfect gift.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks You give good gifts to Your people. We don't deserve them, and all too often we don't appreciate them. For this we ask Your forgiveness. May each day bring us a fresh insight into the love You have shown in the Person of Jesus, Your Son, our Savior. It is in His Name we pray. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries