She loved to turn the crank, then laughed as the candy-coated treasures rattled down the chute.
When our children were young, our daughter and I spent many hours buying groceries or running other errands while her brother was at school. One of her favorite shopping places had a collection of candy and trinket dispensers near the exit—perfectly placed for buying a treat on the way to the parking lot.
We didn’t stop at the machines every time, but she learned that being a good shopper increased her chances of getting a treat. She plucked the chocolate candy from my palm and ate them one by one while prying my fingers open with her other hand.
My daughter happily accepted the candy but wanted to be in control. Holding my hand open meant she knew how much candy was left and whether I was trying to pop any pieces into my own mouth. But it also meant she kept me from doing anything else while she ate.
Sometimes, we have trouble accepting a gift because we don’t think we deserve it. At other times, we aren’t sure we trust the giver. And sometimes, we’re so focused on claiming the gift that we miss other good things around us.
Jonah realized this while in the belly of a large fish because he ran from God’s directive. We can spend so much time choosing or worshipping the wrong thing that we miss the blessings that could be ours if we turned back to the right thing.
God showed mercy to Jonah and the people of Nineveh when they turned back to Him, and He waits for us to do the same. He will never take His love away, just as I would have never bought candy for my daughter and then kept it for myself.
What kinds of gifts might God have that you are missing because you’re looking in another direction? Focus on Him and see what happens.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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