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Beautiful Exchange

"I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him."- I Samuel 1:27

One of the cutest and heart-warming sights I get to behold is watching my five year old daughter play "mom" with her dolls. She definitely has a mother's heart and instincts as she carries them, talks to them, cares for them, and even gives them timeouts for misbehaving. Our home is filled with an array of items for this "little mommy" to do her job from a toy stroller to a toy crib. She even has church for them, having her dolls seated on the couch while she leads worship.

This past Saturday was our princess' birthday and I am pleased to announce a new addition to the family! Our daughter's dream gift was to get a Baby Alive doll called "Snackin' Sara". This special doll talks, eats and drinks, and even goes potty in a diaper (I guess it is both cute and gross at the same time). Every trip to Target included a stop in the toy aisle to hold "Snackin' Sara" and squeeze her hand to hear the doll giggle and talk. Every week leading up to her birthday we were asked about "Snackin' Sara" and given careful instructions to get one for her birthday. Our daughter was so excited once she finally opened her very own "Snackin' Sara" that she could hardly contain herself and could hardly wait to play "mommy".

But there was one problem that almost turned this most special day into a party pooper. Upon inspection of the doll, Joanie and I could tell something wasn't quite right. Her hair was messy and uneven. Also, the box showed pictures of accessories that were not found anywhere inside. It soon became clear to us that this doll had been previously purchased and returned without all of the items. After an hour of calling various stores it became clear that there were no "Snackin' Sara's" in stock and we would have to wait a bit more until the arrival for this new baby and dream doll to reach our home and our daughter's arms.

One of the things that our daughter's birthday reminded me of is the need for God's transforming work to take place in our lives. In fact, when we read about various women in the Bible we see how the Lord answers their heart cry with the amazing gift of a child (i.e.- new life). From Sarah to Hannah we see the way the Lord moves in their life in a beautiful and powerful way. Our heavenly Father is faithful to give the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4) and to even put new dreams and purpose in our lives. It is through His promise, His work, and His transforming touch that we can experience the fullest measure of life. What God has in store and what He supplies is not shabby looking or missing any of the needed accessories. There is both a TRANSACTION and a TRANSFORMATION that takes place when we cry out to the Lord and receive the Lord's best for our lives. Let me share a simple illustration to seal this truth. When we go to the store to purchase bread, while it is on the shelf it is still the property of that store, say "Trader Joe's". But when we take the bread off the shelf and bring it to the cash register, upon paying for it, the bread comes into our possession. The transaction has taken place, but there is yet to be a benefit (or transformation) from our having it in our arms. But once we take the bread, apply peanut butter and jelly on it, and eat the sandwich, there comes the transformative results the bread was always intended to provide.

As we come this Mother's Day I cannot think of a better gift or greater blessing to one's heart than having God answer prayers, needs, and concerns, with His mighty hand and miraculous touch. Even the most famous mother in the history of the world, Mary, cries out in delight for the gift the Lord bestowed upon her in bringing the Messiah into the world. In Luke 1:49 she declares in a song of thanksgiving, "For the Mighty One has done great things for me--holy is His name." My prayer for every mom (and for each of us) this Mother's Day is that God would deliver to your heart the perfect gift in perfect operating order. God can supply our every need, because He has a rich storage on His heavenly shelves. He has provision and security as it relates to one's future; He has healing and wholeness as it pertains to one's physical body; He has faithful care to watch over our loved ones; He has perfect peace for the anxious thoughts and weights we feel; He has the power of life to the areas that are barren, broken, and marked by death. May this Mother's Day gift be marked by something truly wonderful and transformational as God meets each of us and moves in our lives. Let's unwrap His perfect truth and power as it says in Ephesians 3:20, "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us."

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