Jenny was a bright-eyed, pretty five-year-old girl.
One day when she and her mother were checking out at the grocery store, Jenny saw a plastic pearl necklace priced at $2.50. How she wanted that necklace, and when she asked her mother if she would buy it for her, her mother said, "Well, it is a pretty necklace, but it costs an awful lot of money. I'll tell you what. I'll buy you the necklace, and when we get home we can make up a list of chores that you can do to pay for the necklace. And don't forget that for your birthday Grandma just might give you a whole dollar bill, too. Okay?"
Jenny agreed, and her mother bought the pearl necklace for her. Jenny worked on her chores very hard every day, and sure enough, her grandma gave her a brand new dollar bill for her birthday. Soon Jenny had paid off the pearls.
How Jenny loved those pearls. She wore them everywhere - to kindergarten, bed and when she went out with her mother to run errands. The only time she didn't wear them was in the shower - her mother had told her that they would turn her neck green!
Now Jenny had a very loving daddy. When Jenny went to bed, he would get up from his favorite chair every night and read Jenny her favorite story. One night when he finished the story he said, "Jenny, do you love me?"
"Oh yes, Daddy, you know I love you," the little girl said.
"Well, then,give me your pearls."
"Oh! Daddy, not my pearls!" Jenny said. "But you can have Rosie, my favorite doll. Remember her? You gave her to me last year for my birthday. And you can have her tea party outfit, too. Okay?"
"Oh no, darling, that's okay." Her father brushed her cheek with a kiss. "Good night, little one."
A week later, her father once again asked Jenny after her story, "Do you love me?"
"Oh yes, Daddy, you know I love you."
"Well then, give me your pearls."
"Oh, Daddy, not my pearls! But you can have Ribbons, my toy horse. Do you remember her? She's my favorite. Her hair is so soft, and you can play with it and braid it and everything. You can have Ribbons if you want her, Daddy," the little girl said to her father.
"No, that's okay," her father said and brushed her cheek again with a kiss. "God bless you, little one. Sweet dreams."
Several days later, when Jenny's father came in to read her a story, Jenny was sitting on her bed and her lip was trembling. "Here, Daddy," she said, and held out her hand. She opened it and her beloved pearl necklace was inside. She let it slip into her father's hand.
With one hand her father held the plastic pearls and with the other he pulled out of his pocket a blue velvet box. Inside of the box were real, genuine, beautiful pearls. He had them all along. He was waiting for Jenny to give up the cheap stuff so he could give her the real thing.
So it is with our Heavenly Father. He is waiting for us to give up the cheap things in our lives so he can give us beautiful treasure.
"Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
Luke 12:32-34, ESV