Plastic Pearls

The following story is taken from the “Choosing Joy” devotional by Angela Thomas.  “There was a four-year old girl who had been taken to the toy store by her mom.  At the toy store, the little girl was completely enchanted by all the princess dress-up clothes and accessories.  The little girl especially loved a necklace of plastic pearls, so her mother bought them for her.

“The little girl insisted she always had to wear those pearls.  She wore the pearls while she slept, in the sandbox, taking a bath.  She never wanted to take them off.  ‘I am a princess,’ she declared, ‘and a princess always wears her pearls.’  Months went by and over time those plastic pearls began to show their use.  The string was dirty.  The paint was chipping.  The clasp had eventually been taped back together.

“Every night before bedtime, this little girl crawled into her daddy’s lap to snuggle and talk about the day.  One night, her daddy asked, ‘little princess, do you love me?’

” ‘I love you, Daddy, I love you’, the little girl joyfully replied. ‘Will you give me your pearls?’ her father asked. ‘No, Daddy, they’re mine.  I’m a princess.’  Her father kissed her on the forehead and the pajama-clad girl scooted off to bed.

“The next night at snuggle time, her father asked the same question, ‘do you love me?’ ‘Oh, Daddy, you know I do,’ the little girl responded. ‘Will you give me your pearls?’ he asked.  The little girl was adamant again, ‘daddy, I am a princess’ then quickly slid down and ran to her room.

“The third night, the little girl, fearing the question that might come, was hesitant to snuggle with her dad.  But love won out and the little girl rested her head on her dad’s strong shoulder.  ‘Do you love me?’ he asked.  Big crocodile tears fell from the little girl’s eyes and, unable to speak throught her tears, she nodded her head yes.  The little girl loved her dad. ‘Will you give me your necklace?’ He calmly asked for the third night in a row.

“That night the little girl ever so slowly unwound the tape that held her pearls together and obediently gave them to the father she loved.  With one hand, her father took the strand of worn-out, plastic pearls and tossed them into the fire.  With the other hand, he reached into his pocket and gave to his daughter a new strand of beautiful, real pearls.  Exactly the kind that a princess should wear.”

How many of us are living with plastic pearls vs allowing God to provide us with the real thing?  This story touched my heart because I realized that I had accepted plastic pearls so many times in my life.  Allowing a man I deeply love to break promises for a loving marital future, settling for less.  Allowing myself to compromise my voice so that another could always be in the spotlight.  Sometimes settling for less than what I really desired because it would make some else happy and keep the peace in the household. 

When we’ve allowed ourselves to compromise our real happiness, our real joy, for settling for what we think is the best we can ever have, we are settling for plastic pearls.  It’s so easy to let the world around us tell us we have to settle for less than the best.  But our heavenly Father wants us to have the real thing.  Like the father in the story, He is waiting for us to be obedient to His request.  That request can appear to be so overwhelming in our lives and so risky that we stop short of obeying and trusting God.  When the truth is that by expecting the best in life and obeying God’s voice, that small internal voice that cries out when something is not right, that voice that is compelling us to want something better, it is our Heavenly Father wanting to provide us with our real desire.  When we stifle the voice, when we ignore the voice because it will lead us down an unknown path, we are disregarding our Father’s voice to lead us to a better life. 

The gist of the story was the faith and trust and love this little girl had for her father.  If you say you love God you must ask yourself –Do you trust Him?  Are you willing to obey that voice, even though every fiber of your being is saying “it’s too risky”?  To experience the gifts and abundance God has in store for you you have to obey the voice.  It’s okay to ask God to clarify if what you think He is asking is coming from Him.  He will answer you if you are listening.  You desire the Real thing.  Don’t settle for plastic pearls.

Choosing Joy: A 52-Week Devotional for Discovering True Happiness

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