Hello friend!! What a God-blessed day it has been! This morning, while I was seated at my writing desk, I began writing today’s blog on one of my favorite prophets–Elijah.
This wasn’t too surprising because we kicked off our new ladies bible study last Wednesday night which features this amazing man of God. We are studying, “Elijah: Spiritual Stamina in Every Season” by Melissa Spoelstra. I’m only on day four of the first week and I love it!! Which is why I began sharing in my blog today about how relateable Elijah is….and then, nothing. I knew the Holy Spirit was leading me in a new direction.
Apparently only across the room, to my dark brown bookshelf, where I keep my old bibles, writing books from school, and all of my past bible studies. I keep them all because I use them as journals, prayer prompts, and heartfelt answers to questions that reflect on that season of my life. I highlight, scribble, doodle, and mark it all up with memories and reflection. Anyway, why am I at the bookshelf…
Oh yeah. I am led to pick up a different bible study, by the same author, that we did the fall of 2017. It is titled, “Jeremiah: Daring to Hope in an Unstable World”. I am so thankful I looked through it. It really wasn’t that long ago, but in that short time, several prayers were answered, I can see growth in my relationship with God, and God revealed something new and fresh through His Word! Don’t you love that?!
One particular story really spoke to me. The author, Melissa Spoelstra, relayed her version of a story she heard at church camp many years ago:
A little girl bought a plastic pearl necklace with the money she had been saving all year. She loved her pearls and felt so grown up when she wore them. She only took them off when she went swimming or took a bath. Though the pearls weren’t real, that didn’t matter to her. She had bought them all by herself.
This little girl had a loving father. One day he said to her, “Honey, do you love me?”
“Yes, Daddy,” she said. “You know I love you.”
“Then will you give me your pearls?” her father asked.
“Not my pearls!” the little girl practically gasped. “But you can have my toy horse.”
“That’s okay, Sweetheart. I love you,” he replied. And then he kissed her cheek. About a week later, the father asked his little girl again, “Do you love me?”
“Daddy, you know I love you,” she said.
“Then will you give me your pearls?” he repeated.
“Not my pearls. But I’ll give you my baby doll.”
“That’s okay. I love you,” the father answered. And once again he gave her a kiss on the cheek.
This same routine happened again and again, and the little girl began to wonder, “If Daddy loves me, why does he want to take away something I love?”
Then one day the little girl walked up to her father with tears in her eyes and held out her fake pearl necklace. “Here, Daddy. This is for you,” she said.
The father reached out a hand to take the necklace, and with his other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a velvet case. Inside that case was a strand of genuine pearls, chosen with love and care for his daughter. He had had the pearls all along but was waiting for his daughter to give up what she had so that he could give her something even better.
Isn’t that story amazing? I know I read it during the bible study, but for some reason it was magnified today, and I felt, there it is. That is what God wants me to share!
And here we are my friend. What comes to mind when you read that story? Has God asked you to give up something in your life that you are holding onto? It may be an unhealthy relationship, bad habits, material things, a certain job, a place that you live, etc. What I have come to realize in my life is this:
“God will never take something away without giving you more in return. Trust that He knows what He is doing” (Joel Osteen).
I can honestly say I have experienced all of those things and more! Years and years ago, I was in a toxic friendship. It just wasn’t healthy any more. But we had been friends for over a decade, etc. Blah, blah, blah. I kept making excuses and God kept nudging me to let. it. go. Our friendship had run its course and we didn’t have much in common anymore.
Guess what happened? It kept getting worse until I felt bad all the time and finally listened to God. I would have experienced a lot less stress and pain if I would have listened to the Holy Spirit in the first place and let it go. Please tell me someone relates to that!?
The most amazing thing is what God did next. He brought some new friendships into my life that were more compatible with my family, interests, and faith. He was trying to bless me in new ways, but I was clinging to what I was used to and didn’t want to change.
God wants the best for you! In giving you the best He has, you have to give up all that He has asked you to. It isn’t an easy thing to do, and it may not be comfortable, BUT it will ALWAYS be worth it!!!
Praying God’s absolute BEST for you, my friend! Step out in faith and trust God!
All the glory to God!!
Image of “Just trust me…” by Jennifer Brobbey. “He’s Got Something Much Better For You…” 6 March 2017.
Image of “When God gives you a “No””… by Erin Perkins. Pinterest.
Osteen, Joel. “God will never…” quote. Twitter. 25 June 2015. https://twitter.com/joelosteen/status/614265614564241408?lang=en
Spoelestra, Melissa. “Day 2: Spotting a Fake.” Jeremiah: Daring to Hope in an Unstable World. Abingdon Press. Written. 2014.