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?" "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." 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 gave 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. 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 a kiss." About a week later, after their 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. 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 the genuine treasure. *Author Unknown
Prayer Tip #4 - Whatever You Want, Lord
"Whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple." Luke 14:27
You can't bear His cross unless you surrender your life to Him. Surrendering everything requires us to say, "Lord whatever You want me to do, I will do it. I will say "yes" to anything you ask of me, even when I don't feel like it. Anything You want, it's Yours. I trust You and Your plans for me." Surrender is hard. It can be challenging and scary to not know what is in the other hand. Surrender requires us to let go of control and knowing all of the details, and in doing so, we learn to trust God. Sometimes surrender means we give up the things that we want or desire. It is a daily choice we must make to deny ourselves and surrender our ways, dreams, finances, jobs, relationships, and plans to Him.
However, surrender doesn't mean we can't pursue our passions. We aren't giving up all of our hopes and dreams; rather we are saying, "God, this is what I want and this is what I desire, but if You have other plans for me then I surrender to You. I want what You want for my life above all else."
Do you love Him? Do you trust Him? Have you fully surrendered to Him? Seek insight from the Lord as to what areas you need to surrender to Him. We all have our own "pearls" that we tend to white-knuckle. But we will never know what we are missing out on until we fully surrender to the Lord and His ways.
PRAYER POINTS- (Pray over these requests)
I surrender myself to You, Lord. Rule over every part of my mind, soul, body, and spirit.
Help me to deny myself in order to daily take up my cross and follow after You.
Teach me to say yes to You immediately when You give me direction for my life.
Reveal areas in my life that I have not surrendered to You fully - relationships, work, my dreams and desires.
SUGGESTED PRAYER - God, I surrender myself to You. I surrender my own dreams and desires and ask for You to align my desires with Yours. Rule over every part of my mind, soul, body, and spirit. Help me to deny myself in order to take up my cross daily and follow after You. I don't want to hold onto things that You desire for me to let go of. Teach me to say yes to You immediately when You give me direction for my life. Reveal areas in my life that I have not surrendered to You fully - finances, relationships, work, my dreams and desires. I want You to be Lord in my life. I declare You Lord over my life. In You I put my faith and trust alone.
In Jesus' Name, Amen.