She sat staring at the bright-colored balloons I held in my hand.
She was really too old for the stroller but her mom could keep track of her if she was confined to the stroller instead of wandering through the crowd of the carnival.
Her mom chitchatted with another mom while this little girl kept her eyes on the balloons suspended in the air.
Other children came one by one and took another colored balloon. She watched as each one went away.
I tried to catch her eye. But when I did she looked away quickly not wanting me to see to her.
I headed her direction. “Would you like a balloon?”
She slid the tip of her finger into her mouth and cast her eyes toward the ground.
I tried again, “Would you like a balloon? …. It’s free!”
Her eyes shot up with suspension and a small hidden hope rose up.
Everything at the carnival cost.
Her mother had already said ‘no’ to the funnel cakes and ring toss. Why would the balloons be any different?
Her eyes met mine again.
I moved the cluster of balloons closer. “Here… what color would you like?”
She looked at the array of colors hoping… but not yet knowing if what I said was true.
Our eyes met with genuine smiles.
She turned back toward her mom and tapped her on the arm, “M-o-m ???” I could sense her fear of another ‘no’ being spoken.
“What?” her mother spoke back.
“Can I have a balloon?”
“No… they cost too much!”
The little girl’s eyes dropped down. All hope gone.
I took a step closer.
“Excuse me… could I give your daughter a balloon?” And quickly added, “They’re free!”
The mother looked over in disbelief.
“FREE? I don’t believe you. Nothing here is free.”
“Yes…they are free! Believe me. We have free balloons, face painting and crafts.”
Both mothers now looked at me with dropped jaws and shocked faces.
Every year it’s the same. We set up our little tent in the midst of many others and offer everything free.
Why? Because that’s what He did for us.
There’s no cost for us to come to Him.
We don’t have to pay our way with good deeds or clean ourselves up.
We can’t earn our way or give enough away.
He offers it all because He paid it all.
He says to us, “Believe me… it’s free.”
In our lives, we watch others receive what He offers. Yet sit back at a distance… not believing it’s for us as well.
We measure ourselves against others and jostle up the line to see where we stand.
Are we good enough? Do we have enough to get what He offers?
Yet, His ways are not that way.
We don’t have to measure up, pay up or be good enough to receive what He offers. He simply asks us to believe and receive.
But Jesus was matter-of-fact: “Yes—and if you embrace this kingdom life and don’t doubt God, you’ll not only do minor feats like I did to the fig tree, but also triumph over huge obstacles. This mountain, for instance, you’ll tell, ‘Go jump in the lake,’ and it will jump. Absolutely everything, ranging from small to large, as you make it a part of your believing prayer, gets included as you lay hold of God.” ~ Matthew 21:21-22
Just like that little girl and mother couldn’t believe those balloons were free, God offers to us more than all the balloons.
He simply asks us to believe.
Believe what He says is true. Trust Him and follow His direction.
His ways are good. His word is true.
He offers himself freely to us.
- When our lives are in turmoil, He gives peace.
- When we need direction, He gives wisdom.
- When we need to begin again, He gives forgiveness.
- When we need a break, He gives grace.
He comes near and offers it all to you. What do you need? He’ll give it freely to you.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks find, and to the one who knocks the door will be opened.” ~Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV)
* We are linking up with Kate Motaung and the Five Minute Friday gang. If you would like to join us, click here. Our word prompt today: FREE
Photo credit: WallPaperswide