I'll Trade You

“Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession.”

Psalm 2:8  

I don’t know about you but I love peanut butter. I can remember back in grade school and the cafeteria made those delicious honey and peanut butter squares. I would have cut off my right arm for a tray of those things and would pretty much offer my friends everything in my lunch-pale for just one of those peanut butter squares. I’d start every conversation on those days with, “I’ll trade you” and the bartering began.

It was the same in High School  but now it was those peanut butter cookies the cafeteria made fresh daily. My staple for lunch most days was two of those giant peanut butter cookies and two things of milk. It was like seventh heaven and when the cafeteria ran out I was on a mission to find someone with a cookie and I’d start in, “I’ll trade you” and see what happens.

Are you aware God likes to trade too? He is constantly seeking ways to bless our lives but often times He can’t until we are willing to let go of something we are holding onto. You can almost hear the Lords voice saying, “I’ll trade you” when he sees our plate is full of things like doubt and worry, anger and frustration, sin and shame, hatred and bitterness. The list could go on and on.

Every college student who ever lived on campus and ate in the school commissary, (a big word for cafeteria)  probably wishes this scripture was plastered on the wall as the schools policy.  "Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk Without money and without price. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And let your soul delight itself in abundance” (Isaiah 55:1-2).

God loves to initiate trades with His children to help learn to trust, to stretch us and cause us to grow. But most of all like any loving Father but even more so because being God, His love is greater, and He wants to bless us if we will trust Him. It’s been well said, “God gives His best to those who leave the choice to Him”.

Having a daughter myself I have always enjoyed the story titled,  “The Dime Store Necklace”.
Jenny, a 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 her mom checked the back of the little foil box for the price and then back into those beautiful pleading blue eyes of her little girl’s upturned face. “A dollar ninety-five. That’s almost $2 Jenny. If you really really want them, you are going to have to help mommy by doing some extra chores around the house so you can save enough money to buy them yourself.”

As soon as Jenny got home, she started right in emptying her piggy bank and counting out all of 17 cents. After dinner, she did more than her share of chores. She went to the neighbor, and asked if she could pick dandelions to sell for ten cents. On her birthday, Jenny’s Grandma gave her another new crisp dollar bill and at last she had enough money to buy the necklace.

Jenny loved her pearls. They made her feel grown up. She wore them everywhere—Sunday school, kindergarten, even to bed at night. Jenny had a very loving daddy who every night would stop whatever he was doing and come upstairs to read Jenny a story before bed. One night when
he finished the story, he asked Jenny, “Do you love me?” “Oh yes, Daddy. You know that I love you.”

“Then may I have your pearls?”

“No, Daddy, No, not my pearls. But you can have Princess—the white horse from her pony collection. 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 another story time, Jenny’s daddy asked again, “Do you love me?”

“Daddy, you know I love you.”

“Then will you give me your pearls?”

“No, Daddy, No, not my pearls. But you can have my baby doll. The brand new one I got for my birthday.

“That’s okay, Honey. Sleep well and remember that God loves you, little one. And your Daddy loves you too.” And as always, he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss.

Several days later, when Jenny’s father came in to read her a bed time story, Jenny was sitting on her bed and her little bottom lip was trembling. “Here, Daddy,” she said, as she held out her hand. She opened it and her beloved pearl necklace was inside. She placed them into her father’s hand. Her father took the plastic dime store pearls and put them in his pants pocket while with his other hand he pulled out of another pocket a slender blue velvet box and handed it to his daughter. Here, her dad said, I want you open this.

Inside of the box were a string of real, genuine, beautiful pearls. He had had them all along. He was just waiting for Jenny to give up the cheap dime store pearls so he could give her the real thing.

What is it that you are holding onto that God is whispering to you, “I’ll trade you?” Is there anything you are saying "no Daddy no",  to your Heavenly Father because you just cant see yourself giving something up. Maybe its fear you are holding onto today. There is a lot of that going around. Let God replace it with love. Maybe your mind is filled with worry today? Let God help you replace it with worship instead. Are feeling insecure with all that is going on in the world today? God is whispering to you, “I’ll trade you for trust.” Are you restless and anxious, trade it for peace today. How about trading God, isolation for a sense of belonging, or aimlessness for purpose and mistrust for faith.

Know this loved one, that whatever you and I are clinging to today, God has something far better for us if only we’d open our hand and let go. Don’t settle for cheap dime store pearls any longer, don’t say No another day longer. open your hand and empty it out so you can receive all that the Father has for you!

I’ll leave you with Jesus own words as to the Father’s willingness to give us everything we could ever need and so much more. In Luke 11:9-13 Jesus says, ”So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!"

Go ahead, loved one, take that step of faith today, God is listening. Say to Him, “I’ll trade you” as you open up your heart and receive the best gifts He has for you!

Because you are family, because you are loved!

Pastor Mike

Michael Osthimer





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