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#MidweekWorshipConnection | S3E2

I once heard a story about a little girl who went with her mother to the market. While she was looking around, she saw a bead necklace with a $2 price tag on it. She had exactly $2 in her pocket, so she bought the necklace.

The necklace was plastic, of course. It was nothing special, but it was incredibly special to her! She loved it. She wore it everywhere. She only took it off to take a bath (because her parents were afraid that the prolonged exposure of the necklace to water would turn her neck strange colors).

One night, as her father finished reading her a book and was tucking her into bed, he asked, “Daughter, do you love me?” The little girl said, “Yes, Daddy! Of course I love you!” So he held out his hand and asked, “Then will you give me your necklace?”

The little girl could not believe what she had heard. “No, Daddy! Anything but that! You can have my bears, or my books, or any other piece of jewelry, but not my bead necklace! It is very special to me.”

“Okay.” The father gave her hug and kiss and said goodnight.

The next night, as her father finished reading her a book and was tucking her into bed, he asked, “Daughter, do you love me?” The little girl said, “Yes, Daddy! Of course I love you!” So he held out his hand again and asked, “Then will you give me your necklace?”

Shocked to hear her father ask for the necklace again, the little girl replied, “Daddy, I have told you that you can have anything of mine that you want, but not this necklace. It is so special to me.”

“Okay.” The father gave her hug and kiss and said goodnight.

On the third night, the father went in to his daughter’s room, planning to read her a book and tuck her into bed. However, when he entered his daughter’s room, she was sitting on the edge of her bed, crying, and clinging to her prized bead necklace in her hands.

“What’s wrong, sweetheart?” Her father asked, sitting next to her and putting his arm around her. 

“I know what you are going to ask.” She said through her sobbing. “I have been thinking about it all day. I do love you, and I know that you are going to ask if you can have my necklace. So here it is. You can have it.”

She held out her hand and gave the plastic necklace to her father. He received it, put it in his right pocket, and pulled a beautiful, authentic bead necklace out of his left pocket.

“I want you to have this.” He said as he lifted the beautiful, ornate necklace over his daughter’s head and onto her neck. The little girl was lost for words. She took the heavy, dazzling necklace into her hands and looked up at her father. “I don’t understand,” she said.

The father spoke softly, “I knew how much that plastic necklace meant to you, but I wanted to give you something better… something that would last. Still, I couldn’t give you what was best until you were willing to let go of what you had.”

Isn’t this just like God the Father? He has a plan and a purpose for our lives. He wants to prosper us and not to harm us. We are His workmanship, created for good works which He has prepared in advance for us to do.

We can too easily miss the abundant life that God wants to give us because we are stuck clinging on to the life we have made for ourselves. We focus on good things instead of on God things.

As He was preparing to make His final journey to Jerusalem, where He would ultimately be betrayed, arrested, falsely accused, beaten, and crucified,

…Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

– Matthew 16:24–25, ESV

May we, like the little girl in this story, be willing to prove our love for the Father by willingly giving up anything He is asking us to lay down, including our own lives. And may we, like the little girl in the story, find that the Father is willing give us so much more than we could ever dream or hope for.

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#MWC (Season 3)

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