Little Bit is getting her first set of molars right now. Translation: She is drooling like a fire hydrant and irate at the world and every one and thing in it. But Top Kid doesn’t back down from a challenge quickly so she made it her personal mission last evening to keep LB from screaming incessantly.
At one point Top Kid was showering and singing Hush Little Baby at the top of her lungs while Little Bit threw herself down on the cold bathroom floor and wailed against the tile. It was a loud, soggy, sad mess. And I thought to myself, “You know what? If my Dad was giving me all those ‘gifts’ that kept breaking, I’d be pretty miserable too!”
Have you ever really thought about those lyrics?
Hush, little baby, don’t say a word,
Papa’s gonna buy you a mockingbird.
And if that mockingbird won’t sing,
Papa’s gonna buy you a diamond ring.
And if that diamond ring turns brass,
Papa’s gonna buy you a looking-glass.
And if that looking-glass gets broke,
Papa’s gonna buy you a billy-goat,
And if that billy-goat don’t pull,
Papa’s gonna buy you a cart and bull.
And if that cart and bull turn over,
Papa’s gonna buy you a dog named Rover.
And if that dog named Rover won’t bark,
Papa’s gonna buy you a horse and cart.
And if that horse and cart fall down,
You’ll still be the sweetest little baby in town.
The first problem I see is what kid even wants half of that stuff? Maybe the dog was a good idea, and the shiny presents, but I can say with certainty that a billy-goat, a cart and bull, and a mockingbird have never been on a Christmas or birthday list in this house. The second issue is that they all seem to be defective! Well, except for the dog that doesn’t bark – I’ll take two please to replace the barkers I have. Every gift ends up being faulty or breaking in one way or another. This Dad was a bad shopper.
Our Heavenly Father on the other hand is a great giver!
Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.
I love that James didn’t stop with “good things” but went on to make the point that “perfect gifts” come from God. In order for something to be considered perfect, it has to be exactly the right item in exactly the right size, shade, fit, color, and timing. Yes, even timing plays a part.
Bottom Middle has a spring birthday. When she was making her birthday request, she was torn between Legos and a pair of winter boots she saw at Old Navy. Now the boots would have been a fantastic gift! She’s quite the fashion forward youngster so they would have fit her personality. Her size was in stock and the style that had most spangles and sparkles was readily available. But they were winter boots. Just as we are entering flip-flop season. She would have had a wonderful present that she wouldn’t have any use for until six months after her birthday. The timing was simply wrong.
We beg God to provide a new job for us or a new house or car. But maybe that business is about to go through serious turmoil. Or the house we adore has a foundation problem that hasn’t yet been revealed. Or the car we are shopping for is about to have a recall for a major safety issue. The gift is good but the timing is all wrong.
Or maybe the gift is wrong. We pray to conceive a child for years and years to no avail. Then God sends us on a mission trip to Costa Rica and there is a child primed for adoption who completely steals our hearts and then becomes our family. We pray for a mate who looks just so and likes the same things we like and is interested in the same hobbies we are. Then God introduces the polar opposite of what our description was who introduces us to a whole new taste in music, food, and adventure while pushing us closer to the Father.
One of my favorite verses of praise is Ephesians 3:20 & 21. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
Some people might say I have an imagination. (Not sure where they would get that idea.) I love the line “far more abundantly beyond.” That is so incredibly huge! Take the best idea you have for your life; pump it up on steroids and the biggest lottery jackpot in history; jack it up on Red Bull and two dozen chocolate frosted cupcakes rolled in Sour Patch Kids; and then add a pony. God will go beyond even that kind of gift. And He will provide it in exactly the right size, shape and timing.
That is a Papa who gives GOOD gifts!