Yes, Lord

"Yes, Lord, walking in the way of Your law, we wait for you; Your name and renown are the desire of our hearts." Isaiah 26:8...."We don't know what we're saying yes to, but we know Who we're saying yes to." Sheila Walsh

Sheila Walsh tells the story of a 10 year old girl who saved her allowance and bought a string of plastic pearls for $2. She treasured these "pearls" and wore them every day. Each night her father would come and read her a story before she went to sleep. At the end of the story he would ask her, "Jenny, would you give me your pearls?" She would reply, "Oh Daddy, you can have anything else, but not my pearls." He would then say it was alright, and she would go to sleep. Yet each night, he would read the story, and then ask again, "Jenny, would you give me your pearls?" She would answer over and over, "Daddy, you can have anything else. You can have my Princess doll, my stuffed animals, anything, but not my pearls." This went on for some time. Finally, one night her father came to once again read her a story, but he found Jenny looking at him, tears welling in her eyes. He asked her what was wrong. She brought her trembling hand from beneath the covers, and in it were her "pearls." She said, "Daddy, I love you. Here are my pearls." Her father took them from her hand, and then, out of his pocket he brought forth a string of shiny, beautiful, genuine pearls, and gave them to her. He'd been carrying them each night since he first began to ask the question. It was not until she was willing to release the counterfeit pearls that she could now receive the true ones. I wonder, how like Jenny are you and I when it comes to all the counterfeit treasures, pleasures and joys that we cling to, all the while missing the true treasure and joy that He has for us? That He is for us.
Our grip on what is not Him and of Him can be unbelievably strong. In too many cases, it's a death grip. We cling to things we see as precious, yet are destroying us. They stand between us and the Father. Sometimes they can be good things that keep us from the One who is the greatest and best. More often though, they are hurtful things that we have made "precious." Resentments, anger, the listing of wrongs done against us. They can also be labels we have allowed others to put on us. Failure. Inadequate. Not Good Enough, Pretty Enough, Smart Enough. They can be what one person called "Mug shots from our past." Things we've done, sins we've committed, acts that the devil has "taken a picture of," and brings to our minds on a regular basis. Each time pronouncing us "guilty," even though we long ago confessed and repented of the act. Good or bad, we can't let them go. Not even to the Father who loves us beyond words.

He is the "Pearl of great price," and everything we cling to that is not Him or of Him is "plastic pearls" in comparison. What are our plastic pearls? What is it that we cannot bring ourselves to release to Him. What do we have a death grip on that is literally bringing death to our souls? Can we, dare we, bring them to Him, and place them in His hand? Can we bring our counterfeit joys, pleasures, and treasures to Him....and receive from Him what is real? Real Life, Peace, and Joy. John Eldredge has a daily prayer that he lifts to the Father. He simply asks, "Today Lord, I want Jesus. The real Jesus."
I have clung to so many kinds of "plastic pearls" in my life. I've been willing to give Him everything but them. Yet in His persistent love and seeking, He kept coming to me, and finally, when I could resist no longer, I would surrender them to Him....and receive in return that Pearl of great price. He still comes, and too often, I still cling, but I am learning, finally, that no counterfeit can ever compare to Him. I want Him who is the Pearl. How about you? What is the string of plastic pearls you're hiding "under the covers?"

Pastor O
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   July 2019   
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