Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Open Hands, Open Heart

Maybe you've heard this story before, but it has been impressed on my heart and mind so much recently, thought I'd share it in my blog. The first time I heard it I was attending a Women's Retreat. It spoke powerfully to my heart. This is my retelling, as best as I remember.

It's about a little girl named Jenny who was captivated by a pearl necklace at the counter of a store while shopping with her Mommy. Oh, she wanted those pearls so much, but unfortunately her Mommy just didn't have the extra funds to purchase them for Jenny at the time. Her Mommy reminded her that she had a birthday approaching and that she would probably receive some money from her Grandmother, so in time, if she kept saving, she could probably buy the necklace herself if she really wanted it.

Well, Jenny did save enough money, and she did purchase the pearls. She loved her pearls. They made her feel so special. She wore them all the time.

Every night her loving Daddy would read her a story and tuck her into bed. One night, just before he left Jenny's room, her Daddy asked, "Do you love me Jenny?" Jenny responded, "Oh, yes, Daddy".
Her Daddy asked, "Can I have your pearls?"
"Oh, Daddy, not my pearls, " said Jenny. She then began to list other items that were still special to her, that she loved very much, that she was willing to surrender to her Daddy, but she could not part with her precious pearls.

This conversation happened again and again and each time Jenny offered her Daddy another item in place of the pearls, but just couldn't relinquish her treasure.

One night as her Daddy came into the room, he noticed Jenny was sitting crying in the middle of the bed. He inquired what was wrong, and in response Jenny opened her hand to reveal her little pearl necklace. With a little sob catching in her throat she said, "Daddy, these are for you".

It's at this point Jenny's Daddy takes the pearls with one hand, and with the other reaches into his pocket and pulls out a velvet box containing a genuine set of pearls. He replaced the dime-store necklace with a genuine treasure.

Maybe there are some things today in your life that you need to surrender so that you can receive God's love. What 'pearls' do you need to open your clenched fist and release to God? Now is the time to let go of the past. Embrace God's truth. Hebrews 4:7b says, "Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts."

(For the complete story, see "More Stories for the Heart", c.1997. Compiled by Alice Gray.)

6 comments:

Amy said...

Hi, I saw your comment on Lelia's blog. (I love the story of the pearls too.)
Your comment touched me.
I love the story of Peter. So many people criticize him for taking his eyes off of Jesus, but I love the fact that he's the only one that got out of the boat. (Amen!)
Many times in my life I have had "other Christians" criticize me for being discouraged through various trials....When that has happened I feel like they are hurling insults at me from the safety of "their" boat, but I'm out in the water during a storm..do you know what I mean?
Anyway I loved your quote:

As John Ortberg writes in his book, "If you want to walk on water you've got to get out of the boat", "Getting out of the boat (obedience) was Peter's gift to Jesus, the experience of walking on the water was Jesus' gift to Peter."
That gives me chills.
Thank you for sharing that.
God Bless!
Amy:)

Jenny said...

I haven't ever heard that story, but it is wonderful!

Thank you for your encouraging words on my blog today. This story just fit in with it wonderfully!

Have a great day!
Jen

Michelle said...

Wonderful story to illustrate what God will do when we open our hands. Thanks for opening your heart to us also.

Kelley at Aroma of Joy said...

Joy,
I love this (as I love just everything you write)and I want to share it with my oldest daughter. What a thought-provoking story! I have often said that if we don't step out in faith, God can't bless us as He wants to. This seems to be a similar principal, if we don't let go of what we are clinging to, God can' bless us with something better. OOOHHH isn't the truth of God amazing! Thanks for being a friend that I can share it with!

Love,
Kelley

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

How many times have I forsaken God's best by refusing to let go of my least?!

What a powerful reminder of the treasures that our Father has in store for each one of us.

peace~elaine

Yolanda said...

BEAUTIFUL!

Always God's ways are the BEST, and in my/our humanness, we so want to see the picture, causing us to hold on or keep a grasp.

Let's grasp HIM today!

Love to you