Yet again, I find myself awestruck at the nature of God's word.
I continue along in the study of James and it seems every day, this book with which I consider myself wholly familiar, as I have memorized it and poured over it lovingly, reveals new facets to me. As though I never knew it before.
And this is the nature of a book written by God. Words whispered by the Creator of the Universe, the Inventor of Humanity, the Author of Humanity's Salvation into the ears and hearts of flesh and blood who wrote those words faithfully down on paper. Words which have lingered protected and strangely new and fresh despite the thousands and millions of seconds that have passed since the original ink dried on the page.
The nature of those words is that they are supernatural. God cannot breathe something without it becoming something amazing and beyond our understanding. And breathe He did, our Scriptures into existence. And supernatural they truly are.
Mysterious, deeper than they seem to be, new and revelatory, connected and entwined from Old Testament to New Testament, from histories to prophecies, poetry and admonition, testimonies and true stories...I will never cease to marvel as long as I live.
I have been a Christ-follower since I was a little girl - age 5, to be precise. And I have spent much of my life studying and digging and seeking to know more of the God I love through the words He left me. And from one day to the next, the same familiar passage can reveal layer after layer, depth after depth, truly piercing my soul and always captivating me.
James 1:19 says "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning."
Literally, every good thing in our lives is from God. Not from a happy coincidence. Not from a karmic kudos. Not self-generated or naturally occurring. FROM GOD.
And here's where this just GOT me. The word "perfect" used by James is the word teleios. The expanded definition of teleios is "that which has achieved or reached its goal, objective, purpose."
I quote Beth Moore here: "Out of God's astounding grace, a very imperfect person can still receive a delightfully perfect gift precisely because it's perfect for her. God's gifts are given with goals. They're perfect because they're perfecting. They don't just give today. They give toward every tomorrow."
Think of something good in your life that you'd consider a gift. Now think of something really big, a really special gift. Got it pictured? Now, ask yourself if it's possible that such a gift is a perfecting gift - something that continues to transform you - perfect you - move you closer to the goal and objective God has designed for you.
When doing this study the other day, I immediately thought of the most amazing miracle that has ever happened to me and Kyle - the miracle of the enormous, unexpected raise that Kyle received, out of the blue, almost 6 years ago. Brooklyn was about 7 months old and I was working while she was in daycare and it was eating me alive. I desperately wanted to stay home with her - a feeling I found bizarre considering that not so long ago, I hadn't ever wanted children, much less to be a stay at home mom. Long story short, having just moved into our current home, it was impossible for me to quit my job. Kyle's salary was nowhere close to what we would need to cover expenses. We needed a miracle.
We got one. Unexpectedly, mind-blowingly, a bonafide miracle. God prompted Kyle's fabulous boss to suddenly and "spontaneously" reassess Kyle's value to the company and adjust his compensation accordingly. It was the kind of news that brought Kyle and I to our knees sobbing in praise and thanksgiving before this incredibly gracious gift-giving God we serve.
It was a perfect gift. It was a perfecting gift.
That gift allowed me to quit my job and stay home and be a mommy full-time to my precious daughter. And now the two little boys with whom we've subsequently been blessed. Gifted with, shall we say?
And I will say, unequivocally, that every moment spent as a full-time mother and wife, God has used to perfect me. Not that I am perfect, obviously - I am daily being transformed more and more into the image He desires for me; the woman He intends for me to be; I am working towards His goal for me, His objective, His masterpiece of me. I am being perfected daily as a result of that perfect gift.
Is that not stinkin awesome?????
I have further given this thought and realized, ok, my husband - another perfect and perfecting gift. My children - oh yeah. Precious and perfect and DEFINITELY used by God to perfect me as well as just give me joy every day.
I am so overwhelmed by this God of mine. So blown away that He would be so generous to me. To all who love Him and seek Him and follow Him. And so grateful that He rewards our quests to know Him more deeply by revealing deeper and deeper facets of Himself.