A story : The pearls
The cheerful 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 please, Mommy. Can 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, and in no time you can save enough money to buy them for 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 and 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, and 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 daddy and 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 when 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 favorite."
"That's okay, Honey. Daddy loves you. Good night." And he brushed her cheek with kiss.
About a week later, after the story time, Jenny's daddy 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 so 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 daddy came in, Jenny was sitting on her bed with her legs crossed Indian-style. As he came close, 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 daddy. And when she opened it, there was her little pearl necklace.
With a little quiver, she finally said, "Here, Daddy. It's for you."
With tears gathering in his own eyes, Jenny's kind daddy reached out with one hand to take the dime-store necklace, and 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 genuine treasure.
I'm absolutely certain I'm not the only person to do this, but sometimes there are things that no matter how clearly God speaks a direction - an addiction to something, an obsession to something, a desire for something, is just stronger than your ability to overcome.
We clench ourselves around it, and while God says "let it go" we seem to clench all the harder because we can't see what we're gaining - only what we're giving up. We clutch our fake pearls.
I've been clenched around something and suddenly, without even trying to let go I can feel the release. It's pretty terrific.
Even now though, unclenched, I look at what I've let go of and wonder "what if?" But at the same time, that clenched tight part of me is still willing to let it go. It's interesting. I tried a few months back to let it go and found myself more crazed than usual.
But my 'thing' doesn't look like your 'thing'. Yours might be drugs, or pornography, maybe it's control over someone or something; but either way God is ready to fill our hands with something better. He doesn't stand with the the real pearls and say "let's trade" instead He says "trust Me and let go"
And I guess in some cases, He just wants you to keep your eyes on Him so that you finally stop clenching onto things that weren't sustaining in the first place. And in return, well besides the relief of not being all clenched up over some foolish thing, you get a step closer to where God really wanted you to be in the first place.
Whatever it is you're holding onto, or - more so - whatever is holding onto you - I really believe standing for these last 20 days just forcing myself to speak faith, not doubt, not questions, not worries - has helped me let it go.
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:
In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Paul