Continuing this occasional series of e-mail inspirations:
The cheerful little girl with bouncy golden curls was almost five. Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw them--a circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box. "Oh, Mommy! Please, Mommy? May I have them? Please, Mommy? Please?"
Quickly the mother checked the back of the little foil box and then looked back into the pleading blue eyes of her little girl's upturned face. "A dollar ninety-five. That's almost $2.00. If you really want them, I'll think of some extra chores for you. In no time, you can save enough money to buy them yourself. Your birthday's only a week away and you might get another crisp dollar bill from Grandma."
As soon as Jenny got home, she emptied her penny bank and counted out 17 pennies. After dinner, she did more than her share of chores. She went to the neighbor and asked Mrs. McJames if she could pick dandelions for ten cents. On her birthday, Grandma did give her another new dollar bill. At last, she had enough money to buy the necklace.
Jenny loved her pearls. They made her feel dressed up and grown up. She wore them everywhere--Sunday school, kindergarten, even to bed. The only time she took them off was when she went swimming or had a bubble bath. Mother said if they got wet, they might turn her neck green.
Jenny had a very loving father. Every night when she was ready for bed, he would stop whatever he was doing and come upstairs to read her a story. One night as he finished the story, he asked Jenny, "Do you love me?"
"Oh, yes, Daddy. You know that I love you."
"Then give me your pearls."
"Oh, Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have Princess, the white horse from my collection, the one with the pink tail. Remember, daddy? The one you gave me. She's my very favorite."
"That's okay, Honey. Daddy loves you. Good night." And he brushed her cheek with a kiss.
About a week later, after the story time, Jenny's father asked again, "Do you love me?"
"Daddy, you know I love you."
"Then give me your pearls."
"Oh, Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have my baby doll. The brand new one I got for my birthday. She is beautiful and you can have the yellow blanket that matches her sleeper."
"That's okay. Sleep well. God bless you, little one. Daddy loves you." And as always, he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss.
A few nights later when her father came into her bedroom, Jenny was sitting on her bed with her legs crossed Indian style. As he came closer, he noticed her chin was trembling and one silent tear rolled down her cheek. "What is it, Jenny? What's the matter?"
Jenny didn't say anything, but lifted her little hand up to her father. When she opened it, there was her little pearl necklace. With a little quiver, she finally said, "Here, Daddy, this is for you."
With tears gathering in his own eyes, Jenny's father reached out with one hand to take the dime store necklace. With the other hand, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a strand of genuine pearls and gave them to Jenny. He had them all the time. He was just waiting for her to give up the dime-store stuff so he could give her the genuine treasure.
So it is with our Heavenly Father. He is waiting for us to give up the cheap things in our lives so that He can give us beautiful treasures. Isn't God good?
Are you holding things God wants you not to have? Are there harmful or unnecessary partners, relationships, habits, and activities to which you are so attached it seems impossible to let them go?
Sometimes it is so hard to see what is in the other hand, but do believe this one thing:
God will never take away something without giving you something better in its place.
The greatest gifts happen when you share love and touch others.