“Papa, look!” Someone had just given a six-year-old a string

of plastic pearls, and she was bubbling over

with excitement as she ran to show them to her father.

faux pearls
faux pearls

“These are beautiful,” her father said.

For a long, thoughtful moment he turned themover in his hand and

watched them shine in the light from the lamp next to his easy chair.

Then he asked, “Will you do something for me?

Will you give me these beads in exchange for

something I will give you tomorrow?”

“Have I ever asked you to do anything that wasn’t for your good?”

“What’s that?” asked the little girl.

“You’ll see tomorrow,” her father replied.

The little girl’s eyes betrayed her inward struggle.

“It’s up to you,” the father said. “You don’t have to make the trade just

because I am asking you to, but have I ever asked you

to do anything that wasn’t for your good?

Can you trust that I know best?”

It wasn’t easy, but the little girl handed the beads to her father.

He slipped them into his pocket, and gave her a big hug that said,

“I’m proud of you.”

The next day, the father gave the little girl a gift that was far

more beautiful and valuable

—a delicate gold chain with a genuine pearl pendant.

The little girl forgot all about the string of plastic pearls.

beautiful pearl pendant with gold chain
beautiful pearl pendant with gold chain

“I did this to teach you to trust the Father in Heaven,”

her father explained.

“Many times in your life,

He will ask you to give up something you want,

or to avoid something that to you looks good, and often

you won’t understand why.

But if you trust your heavenly Father as you have trusted me,

you will find that He always knows best.

When He asks you to give up some things,

it’s because He wants to give you much better things.”

In one of the parables that Jesus told,

He likened the Kingdom of Heaven to a pearl so rare,

so beautiful, and so costly that one man sold everything

he owned in order to buy that one pearl

(Matthew 13:45-46).

We can have a little bit of Heaven here and now,

but the gifts and treasures of the spirit come at a price.

To experience and enjoy the things of eternal value,

we have to make room for them;

we have to be willing to give up some of our “trinkets,”

the trivialities and fleeting pleasures of this life.

Jehovah God satisfies the hungry hearts with good things,

but the rich—those who are too busy or satisfied with other things

—He sends away empty

(Psalm 107:9; Luke 1:53).

Will you “sell” the things of this world in order to gain the true riches?
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