The Perfect Gift

IMG_3373My husband gave me an early Christmas gift. He gave me frankincense and myrrh. I asked if he was planning my burial. No, he said, he’d just heard that frankincense is calming.

Oh, how I need to be calmed. Especially during this season. Essential oils are all the rage lately and I’ve been delving into them as well. I researched frankincense oil and Mike is right.  Frankincense, when inhaled, can reduce anxiety, blood pressure and heart rate. What a perfect gift!

He knows me. He loves me. Knowing and loving are so interrelated.

I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me. -John 10:14

And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ This is the true God and eternal life. -1 John 5:20

You can’t love God if you don’t know Him. As we grow in grace and knowledge of Him, we ought to love Him more and more. Relationships are the same. The more we know about a person, the more we are able to understand him/her and thus love him/her. Of course, the proponents of the imbecilic love-at-first-sight theory would argue with me here. But I’m talking about a deeper love than the romantic kind.

How do you buy gifts for your loved ones? Do you give thought to the individual person: who they are, what they desire? Or do you buy a dozen of the deal of the day and call it Christmas? To buy the perfect gift, you have to know the recipient. You should know what they like. Or simply know what they really need.

The Lord loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:7). Seeing the recipient’s face light up brings the giver joy. Of course, there are some people on your list that are mere acquaintances. So you opt for the trusted trendy item, the practical scarf, or gift basket. That’s fine. But I’m talking about gifts for those loved ones. The ones you know.

Our heavenly Father knew us and chose us from the foundation of the earth. He loved us so much that He sent us the perfect gift, our Redeemer Jesus Christ. The One who is the remedy for our sin. He knows me. He loves me. He knows what I need and has provided.

Three kings brought our Saviour gold, frankincense and myrrh. They were perfect gifts for a king. Why these gifts? It’s interesting to note how practical these gifts were, as Matthew Henry mentions in his commentary on Matt. 2:11:

The gifts they presented were, gold, frankincense, and myrrh, money, and money’s-worth. Providence sent this for a seasonable relief to Joseph and Mary in their present poor condition. These were the products of their own country; what God favours us with, we must honour him with. Some think there was a significancy in their gifts; they offered him gold, as a king, paying him tribute, to Caesar, the things that are Caesar’s; frankincense, as God, for they honoured God with the smoke of incense; and myrrh, as a Man that should die, for myrrh was used in embalming dead bodies.

I’d always heard the traditional meaning behind these gifts, but now I see God’s practical provision in these gifts for Jesus. These gifts may have financed Joseph, Mary and Jesus’ journey when they had to flee to Egypt to escape Herod’s threat. They were valuable gifts fit for a king, yet practical and perfect in filling great need. God knows, understands and loves His own.

Oh, ladies, how we want our husbands to know, understand and love us. My husband gave me frankincense and myrrh. By no means does this elevate me to deity, God forbid! Yet, a wife should be treated as royalty in a sense. Let’s recall a quote from J. R. Miller:

“…to be the wife of a godly and true man. She is lifted up to be a crowned queen. Her husband’s manly love laid at her feet, exalts her to the throne of his life.”

What magnificent gifts I’ve received.

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. – James 1:17

Christ is my treasure, my Perfect Gift, my Divine Husband. Mike is His representative to me while on this earth. He gave me frankincense and myrrh. How unusually thoughtful. How appropriate. He’d already given me gold just over three years ago, in a little Reformed Baptist church in Greenfield, Indiana. He slipped a gold ring on my finger and pledged his faithfulness to me. He honored me as his chosen queen. As Jesus Christ has honored us by making us His Bride. Mike is called to love me as Christ loves His church (Eph. 5:25). How sweet that he brought me frankincense and myrrh. He has seen my sins this season – my anxiety, worry and impatience. He cares for my soul and knows I need calming. The calm of soul that only Christ can give.

I will continue to pray for the peace that passes all understanding as I breathe in the frankincense. And why the myrrh? I will contemplate on how it was used to mask the stench of death. My sin is that stench. The myrrh reminds me.

Gold, frankincense and myrrh.

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. — Matt. 1:21

Oh, what a Perfect Gift.

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