Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created. James 1:17-18
Heavenly Father, I woke up today in Christ, in Alaska, in a tired body with a grateful heart. I always have every reason to overflow with thanksgiving, but here are a few of your gifts for which I especially give you praise this morning.
First and foremost, I worship you for being the “changeless Father of heavenly lights,” as James states in this text. We can’t predict, control, or presume on the outworking of your will; but we can completely trust you to be faithful, compassionate, engaged, and at work for our good, all the time.
And I adore you for the gospel of your grace—the gift of Jesus, who is our complete forgiveness and our perfect righteousness. Because of Jesus’ finished work, you cannot love us more and you’ll never love us less.
And I’m also thankful for the multiplicity of gifts you bestow of us as your children. Today, as I prepare to fly home to Nashville, these come to mind: The hospitality of beloved friends, Scott and Cathy McIntosh, in their Sitka, AK, home. Their welcoming hearts, servant care, and culinary artistry made me, and my son Scott, hunger for the wedding feast of the Lamb.
I’m also grateful for rich conversation on the days the salmon don’t bite, and childlike happiness on the days they do; for deep sleep and early morning coffee, for fresh perspective on what really matters, and greater freedom from things that don’t.
Father, what do we have that we have not received from you? Nothing. What gift have you given us that you don’t intend us to enjoy, and share with others? None. How can we live more intentionally and freer, more gratefully and more fully to your glory? Show us. Life is too short to be wasted on selfishness and smallness, fretfulness and busyness. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ most glorious and grace-full name.