The Birthday Receipt

Today is my birthday which got me thinking this morning about my childhood. One of my most memorable birthdays was my fifth. The day before, my father had been preaching in a big church with stained glass windows. I sat in the pew with my mother, brother, and baby sister. I had been begging my mother for just one hint as to what my present(s) would be while we waited for church to start. She would shake her head no and smile at me.

Finally, mom thought she was going to be very clever. She handed me the receipt and said, “Here is the receipt. This is your only hint.” I could not read yet which is why she chose this for her hint. I eagerly grabbed the receipt, almost tearing it in my excitement. My eyes darted back and forth, and I lost hope. I sunk back in the pew to pout because I could not read no matter how hard I tried. My eyes scrolled down towards the bottom of the receipt. I almost crammed it back down in my mom’s purse when I and saw the word, “BARBIE.”

“I got a Barbie!” I squealed.  She was as shocked as I was! “How did you read that!” She snatched up the receipt so I couldn’t figure out any of the other words. (Recalling her surprised, but still smiling face really is a fond memory of mine).

I could not sound out the word, “Barbie,” but I recognized it right away when I saw it. (We recognize what we love). The rest of the words on the receipt were complete gibberish to me, and I had almost given up. I laughed and laughed because my mom thought she was going to trick me, and I ended up winning the game.

This reminded me of seeking God. There have been times in my life, especially recently, when I just can’t seem to find peace or answers to my problems. I go throughout my day like a small child desperately trying to read a receipt, but nothing makes sense. At times, I will become so discouraged I just about give up, and I pout. Literally. I still pout! haha.

Then, if I am patient to seek Him, the answer will hit me so clearly one day. It may not come right away, but at some point, the principle or answer God wanted me to have will hit me like the word, “Barbie” did on that receipt. It’s an amazing feeling when that happens. The rest of the world may make no sense at all, but you know exactly what God wanted or now wants in your life. You don’t have to know how to read the future or have the power to unsmudge (that’s probably not a real word, but I am going with it) your inky past. It may come in your Bible study, at church, in prayer time, or in talking to a friend about the things of the Lord, but God will answer you if you wait on Him. The rest of life’s circumstances don’t need to make sense. Your life can be a bunch of ink smudged, jumbled up letters and numbers on a piece of paper, but when God answers you through His Word, you will know it. Don’t lose hope. Don’t pout. Wait on the Lord. We wait on things we love, and recognize them when we see them. Fall in love with the Lord today. Wait on Him.

“I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in His word do I hope.” Psalm 130:5

“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” John 14:21


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