Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17
The walls were thin…real thin. The house I was raised in was a converted World War II barracks that had been moved from wherever to the corner of Wheat and Carlton Roads. It was a two-bedroom, one bath house with more people than bedrooms. We were normally scattered about in the house to sleep but not on Christmas Eve. That night, the three little ones, as we were known, were all put in one bedroom and in one bed. That night was a night of wonders enhanced by the sounds coming through the thin walls.
We were put to bed early in those early days because Santa Claus was coming to town. We reluctantly surrendered and tried to go to sleep. We made every excuse possible to peek and see what was happening on the other side of the thin wall. We even resorted to telling white lies about having to use the restroom but all to no avail. We were Christmas Eve prisoners while Santa came on the other side of the thin wall.
What we couldn’t see…we could hear. There were voices, there was laughter and occasionally there was the sound of a toy…a present…being tested. I remember one time my sister had asked for a chord organ and imagine the thrill when through the thin wall came the sound of music. Well, it took a while but eventually we would drift off to sleep with visions of Christmas morning dancing in our heads. Each Christmas, we were startled awake by the sound of an old .410 shotgun being fired. Like horses at the starting gate, we knew it was off to the races. With the final permission, we flung open the door and walked into a wonder land of wonderful things.
Each Christmas morning there around the room would be at least some of the things we had asked Santa for. We were far, very far, from rich but somehow Santa would bring at least some of the things we had asked for along with others we had not even thought of. It was an amazing and wonder filled morning. Even as I write, as my mind races back to those times, I smile. I smile because of the gifts, those we asked for and those more than we could have imagined, but I also because now I know the sacrifice that made all that possible. Oh, how blessed I was…we were.
Each Christmas I knew we probably wouldn’t get everything we asked for, but I knew we would be amazed at what filled the room. It seemed someone had mined our minds and dug up treasures galore. I truly treasure those memories and today…I treasure the same thing but not just on Christmas morning. Each day I am amazed how another Father, my heavenly Father, fills my life with gifts. Each day He blesses and each day He shows His love in practical ways. Sometimes it is the answer to a prayer, sometimes it is just His attention to the small details of life and sometimes it is just His love, His presence. And sometimes, it is Him walking with me through some challenging circumstance…some difficulty…expected or not.
I have learned that He is a God who can be trusted. And even though I don’t always get the exact answer to a prayed prayer, I know this. He never gets it wrong. Sometimes that means things I thought of, but it always includes things He thought of. Just like Christmas morning while I didn’t always know what was going to be on the other side of the thin wall, I knew it was going to be good. Why? Because it was all planned by someone who loved me dearly.
James, the half-brother of Jesus said, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” That teaches us that God is the giver of good and perfect things and that His nature and character about giving never changes. What we must do is trust that “Father knows best.” I’m sure I asked for some crazy things growing up and I’m also sure my parents were wise enough not to grant every wish or request. We can know the same about God. So be brave enough not to allow disappointment to be a part of your God vocabulary because He is for you and not against you. He is so much wiser and more able than we are. We can rest assured that no matter what it looks like, “He’s got this.” Bro. Dewayne