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  • Writer's pictureDeborah

Perfect Gift

James 1:17 NKJV

James Series

I’m not sure I can effectively express what this verse means to me personally.

I can’t remember a time when God was not an integral part of my life. I’ve never gone through a trial without God. I’ve never known what it feels like to stand alone against the world.

All the days of my life, God has been a strong mighty wind that surrounds me. Angels guard me day and night. I believe because I had a near death experience when I was only six months old, my dad prayed and asked that angels would protect and surround me all the days of my life. I believe he asked that I would live a long healthy life.

In addition to that, I know he surrendered his life to Jesus during that time period and he promised he would serve God with every last breath. He kept that promise.

I think that promise spilled out onto me and God called me to serve Him as well. God called me to ministry when I was 19 years old and I married a pastor. I was 50 years old when that tragically ended and I suffered many losses. The loss of ministry was just one of those. I thought my calling was over, but before the divorce was final I walked into the doors of a large church. I went there so I could hide. I didn’t want anyone to know my story.

It turned out that God wasn’t finished with me. I soon heard about a healing service and I started attending. I was so broken I was not able to go to the front to ask for prayer. They ‘spotted me’ sitting in the back and they prayed for me anyway. That service and their prayers carried me. Much to my surprise, down the road I was asked to be director of that service.

In early 2007, God came to me again and renewed my call to ministry. Looking back, I don’t think my initial call ended. I now believe I was just on sabbatical for a time.

Then later that summer God had called me to go to Seminary. I applied the end of August in the late afternoon and was accepted within hours.

Most of the time I pray and wait, pray and wait. I expected that to be the case in this instance.

I was wrong. God was on the move and He moved quickly.

In James 1:17 he wrote, “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.”

So, here’s the thing. I didn’t want to go to Seminary. I knew it was a freakishly difficult journey, and I knew it would be even harder for me because I was single and didn’t have any support at home. I had no financial support so I worked a full time job while I was in Seminary. I didn’t have any support from my boss at work. She didn’t seem to approve of my decision to go to Seminary. Most people where I worked (and at the level I was at) were all about advancing their careers. Nothing else was more important to them than moving up. As a result of my decision to go to Seminary, my career stalled out and eventually went into decline. To this day, I do not know why that happened. I just know I was never promoted again.

Still, “every good and perfect gift is from above.”

I graduated from Seminary in 2013. I applied to various ministry jobs, but God closed every door. I asked God time and again why He called me to go to Seminary. I did not get an answer.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above.”

Even though I worked harder than ever at work, I was demoted two more times before I retired in 2019.

I continued to ask God what He had for me to do. I asked why I went to Seminary. The answer I got was, “just because”.

Every ministry door closed.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above.”

Somehow, gradually I quit whining and I decided to start studying scripture. My prayer life changed drastically.

I started writing Bible Studies just because I loved it. I posted them on Facebook because it was free (by now I was on social security). I tried to set up a website, but I’m not great with technology. One day I asked my kids for suggestions or help, and within a few days I had a website.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above.”

I still don’t have all the answers why God called me to Seminary and what God HAS for me, but I do know this: “Every good and perfect gift is from above.”

Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Thank God for the Gift

Tell God thank you for every unexplainable gift He gives you. Someday we may understand why.

In Jesus, Deborah


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