He was just a little boy with a smudge on his face and a sparkle in his blue eyes. He came to my door and knocked, although there was no need to knock because this was the door of his own home, with one grimy hand behind his yellow-striped shirt.
I, wanting to participate in the sweet childhood game that he was playing, opened the door and said, "Why, hello there! May I help you with something today?"
No words were spoken, but his impish little grin spread irresistibly across his freckled face as out from behind his back he produced a bouquet of weeds.
As I bent down to exclaim over his offering, he sweetly replied, "These flowers are for you, mom! I picked them just for you!"
I wrapped my arms around his sweaty little body and enveloped him in love as only a mother can.
I was quick to place the "flowers" in one of my loveliest vases, and they graced our kitchen table for many days. Each day, as I walked by the love offering from my sweet little boy, I exclaimed, "How did you know that I love purple flowers? I couldn't love anything more!"
At each family meal, I assured my winsome son the "flowers" were the most beautiful I had ever seen, and I was so grateful for their beauty.
Just a few days after my captivating son gave to me the lovely arrangement of weeds from the field behind our house, I awoke early to read the Word before my five children came tearing down the stairs for breakfast, chores and schooling. As I spent a few minutes in prayer and then in worship in the still of the rosy dawn hours, I heard the Lord speak to my heart.
He asked me to give to Him something that I wanted to keep for my very own. He asked me to give to Him a heart attitude that I felt entitled to have in the light of how I had been treated by a person at our church. I didn't want to give it to Him; it belonged to me, and I felt that I deserved to meditate on the grudge and thereby magnify the pain that was all mine.
As I sat in the chair that was covered with tear stains over other battles that I had fought in prayer, the Holy Spirit reminded me of the delight that had been on the face of my son as he gave me his childlike offering. The Holy Spirit gently whispered, "Carol, if you will come to me with your weeds, I will exclaim over their beauty. I will treasure the offering that you have made although there is a smudge on your heart."
In that moment, I realized that anything that I could ever offer to the Father would be cheap and even callow compared to what He had given to me. And yet, the wonder of it all, is that even my sacrifices of earthly pain are bouquets of great glory to Him. When I give to Him all that I am and all that I have, He throws His arms of love and acceptance around me.
I mistakenly had the notion that pain was simply pain and that the mistreatment that had occurred was mine to fondle and to exclaim over. But when I offered my "weeds" to the Father as a sacrifice of praise, they became a sweet smelling aroma in the palace of eternity.
What is the Lord asking you to give to Him today? Is He asking you to give Him your sorrow or perhaps your time? Maybe He is asking for your disappointment or even for one of your material possessions. I can assure you that whatever He is asking for, it is simply because He loves you. When you give it to Him joyfully, you will wonder why you waited so long!
Carol McLeod is an author and popular speaker at women's conferences and retreats, where she teaches the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor. Carol has written 11 books, including Significant, StormProof and Guide Your Mind, Guard Your Heart, Grace Your Tongue. Her teaching DVD, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart won the Telly Award, a prestigious industry award for excellence in religious programming.
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