Thursday, November 17, 2011

"The Present of the Present"

Many years ago, when our daughter Marie was very small, we had a discussion about God as the supplier of all things in our lives.

"He giveth to all life and breath and all things... Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights" (James 1:17; Acts 17:25).

I explained to Marie that God is the source of all provision, and that His generosity graces every moment of our lives. She pondered the thought for a moment, and then responded with the profound wisdom that our Heavenly Father often seems to reserve for expression through the heart of a child. "Oh, I see, Daddy," she said, "the present is a present!"

Outside the pages of Scripture, I don't expect in this lifetime to hear anything more true or more necessary to the proper understanding of life and existence. The present is a present, a gift from the God whose beneficence knows no bounds. "God... giveth us richly all things to enjoy" (I Timothy 6:17). For the born again believer in the Lord Jesus, this perspective of grace and faith assures us that regardless of the condition, circumstance or situation of the moment, "all things" are working together "for good" (Romans 8:28).

Of course, our Heavenly Father's good gifts often come to us wrapped in strange and even painful packaging. Many moments do not feel or appear to be gifts. Nevertheless, we shall one day discover that God wasted nothing in His perpetual working to grace us with exactly what we need in every second of our existence. The pleasant, the painful, and all possibilities in between come to us as expressions of bestowals of grace from the One for whom giving is synonymous with being.

This moment, this present, is a present. If we see it as such, joy and peace fill our hearts as the natural expression of our perspective of truth and reality (even if we are also feeling the sorrow and pains that often come in a fallen world). "Whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he" (Proverbs 16:20). If we perceive otherwise, that is, if we view this moment primarily as a burden, an injustice, or an unfortunate falling out of dilemma, difficulty or disaster, we miss the blessedness that graces this one time that will be like no other. Thank you, Marie, for so long ago and at such a tender age being a lamp for God's illuminating and warming light. And thank You, Lord, for this moment, the present that comes to us in the present.

A Gift
It is a gift, this moment.
It is a gift, this breath.
It is a gift, this Savior,
put to death, but raised again,
it is a gift.
It is a gift, to be loved and to love.
It is a gift, from Heaven above.
It is a gift, by the Spirit of God's Son,
born again, our hearts in Him,
it is a gift.

"Thou openest Thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing."
(Psalm 145:16)

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