“The greatest adversaries of love to God is not his enemies but his gifts.”
“It should not be surprising that the greatest competitors for our devotion and affection for God would be some of his most precious gifts.”
After reading these 2 lines from the book “A Hunger For GOD” by John Piper, an allegorical story began to come to me on how to illustrate this. Bear with me please, I am not a writer. =)
“There was once a young girl who walked along a path, hand in hand with her Father. They were on the narrow road which leads to heaven.
As is the case with most dads, this Father loved his little girl very much, more than she could even imagine. He had proven his love to her several years ago on a day she would never forget. The day he bought her out of slavery with his own blood, adopted her, showed her the narrow road that leads to life, and promised to go with her, never leave or forsake her. (Heb. 11:5) The more she understood of the sacrifice he had made to purchase her, the more she loved him in return. Since that day, her Father continued to demonstrate his love to her by giving her gifts, just to remind her how very deeply he loved her.
On this particular morning, He picked a beautiful bouquet of flowers and gave them to his precious daughter. (the flowers in my story represent the people in our lives, grandparents, parents, siblings, friends…) Oh what a variety there were! One had a very strong perfume fragrance, another had thorns that poked her fingers and hurt sometimes, another had so much pollen that she sneezed every time she sniffed it, there were bright ones and pastel ones, some even had petals that glittered in the sunlight. But one of her very favorites was a little red one, although it looked a little wind blown and faded, it must have been alongside the path a very long time, but oh how she loved it.
As they continued on their way, often she would bring her bouquet up to her face and inhale the beautiful aroma, then she would remember who gave her those flowers, gaze up into his smiling face and say thank you.
Too soon however, she let go of her Father’s hand, ran over to the roadside by herself and set the treasured flowers up on a rock so she could just sit and gaze at their beauty…as time went on she began to spend more and more time with them and soon forgot everything else and became obsessed with her flowers. She had just finished tending to them, making sure they had fresh water, and plenty of sunlight for fear she would lose one, when she heard her Father calling to her from the path to come and walk beside him. He knew and had told her that in His presence was fullness of joy. (Ps. 16:11) She could only be satisfied when in close intimate fellowship with Him…
She ignored his bidding however, and clutched her flowers tightly. You see, they had become her reason for waking up and now consumed all of her thoughts.
Sadly, one day she awoke, and as she glanced over her treasured bouquet, she was very dismayed to find that her little windblown red one had begun to wilt. Suddenly, remembering her Father again, who not only gave her the flowers but had created them too, she picked up the little red one in one hand and grabbed the rest in her other hand and quickly ran back to the path where her Father was.
As she stood with him again, she suddenly realized how much she missed spending time with Him. She showed Him the now very wilted red flower and asked Him to touch it and make it fresh again. He responded by holding his hand out and asking her to give him the flower, assuring her that he would take care of it.
She had a choice to make. Oh how she loved that little wind-blown, red, faded flower. She wanted to cling to it tightly,spend time with it, and hold onto it forever. As she stood there with tears in her eyes, she thought back to the day her Father had purchased her with His very own blood, adopted her as His child, and promised to walk this path with her. Reassured of His love for her, and knowing that He was asking only out of a heart of love for His daughter, she lifted up the wilted flower and placed it in His hand.
He reached down and wiped the tears from her eyes, took her little hand in His strong one and began to lead her down the path again.
Although she missed her little red flower, and her bouquet just wasn’t quite the same without it, she was much very relieved of the burden of worrying about it and was able to rest assured that her Father could care for it much better than she could.
A valuable lesson had been learned that day, even though she loved the gifts from her Father, they should never replace the love that she had for her Father, the Giver of the gifts.”
The little red, windblown, aged, fading, and wilted flower in the story is my grandma. She is dying of cancer. We spend a lot of time helping take care of her and as a result, our relationship with her has deepened. As the days go by, she is getting weaker and more feeble. I don’t want to let her go, I want her to stay with me as I walk this path called life, I hate to see her in so much pain.
My heavenly Father is asking me to let go of her and cleave to Him. She is just a gift from the hand of a very loving Giver, who loves me more than I can comprehend. And He only asks me to surrender her back to Him, out of a heart of love for His daughter. Am I willing to give Him all of my “flowers”? Is He my greatest treasure?
“And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” Eph. 3:19