Maybe you’ve seen the e-mail that’s made several trips around the world and at least three to my email box. Or maybe you’ve heard the song. They are about a young girl who saw a string of gleaming white pearls at the dime store and fell in love with them. Working hard over the following weeks, she earned enough money (two dollars) to buy them and began wearing them everywhere she went – even to bed. She only took them off for bath time, because her mother told her that they would turn her neck green if they got wet.
The girl’s daddy loved her immensely and would make time every night to put her to bed with a story and a kiss. After finishing the story and tucking her in one night, her daddy asked her, “Sweetheart, do you love me?”
Enthusiastically, she answered, “Oh, yes, Daddy! Of course I love you!”
“Then give me your pearls,” he said.
“Oh, no, Daddy! Not my pearls! But you can have Princess. She’s my favorite toy horse.”
“That’s okay, Sweetheart. I love you. Good night.”
He kissed her cheek and turned out her light as he left the room.
This exchange was repeated every night for a few weeks. Each time, the young girl offered something other than her pearls, and each time her daddy patiently declined, kissed her goodnight and left the room. Then one night, her daddy entered her room to find her sitting up in bed. Her chin trembled, and a tear rolled down her cheek as she held out her pearl necklace to him.
“Here, Daddy. These are for you.”
With tears in his own eyes, her daddy reached out and accepted her dime store necklace. Then, he reached inside his pocket and drew out a blue velvet case and handed it to her. When she opened the case, she found a beautiful strand of genuine pearls.
The story is such an accurate description of the exchange our Daddy wants to make with us. Tight-fisted, we hang onto our garbage. It seems so important to us. Sometimes it seems absolutely vital. We’re not sure how we can do without it. Patiently, God continues to ask us to give it up. Patiently, He listens to our excuses. He waits for us to come to the point where we love Him more than we love our stuff and our sin. When we do, He shares His plan for us, and it’s always “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think…” (Ephesians 3:20, KJV).