Quickly the mother checked the back of the little foil box and then looked into the pleading blue eyes of her little girl's upturned face. "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. And your birthday's only a week away and you might get some money from Grandma and Grandpa."
As soon as Jenny got home, she emptied her bank and counted out 17 pennies. After dinner she did more than her share of chores, and then she went to her neighbor's place and asked if she could pull some dandelions for ten cents. On her birthday she received some money from Grandma and Grandpa too. Finally, she had enough money to buy the pearls.
Jenny loved her pearls. Mother said it wouldn't be good if they got wet, so she was very careful with her treasure.
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 had 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--he'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 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. When she opened it, there was her precious string of pearls. With a little quiver in her voice she finally said, "Here, Daddy. You can have them."
With tears gathering in his own eyes, Jenny's daddy reached out with one hand to take the dime-store pearls. With the other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a string of genuine pearls. He handed this precious gift to Jenny. He had it all the time. He was just waiting for her to give up the cheap pearls so he could give her the genuine.
So like our heavenly Father.
What are you hanging on to that seems so precious to you?
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