The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
Like all of us, I have been thanked for many things through the years. My favorite "Thank you" happened many years ago when our children were still young.
In the fall of that year, our daughter Emmie, 3 years old, asked for a copy of the cartoon movie, "101 Dalmatians," for Christmas. She has seen the film at the theatre during the summer, loved it, and wanted to be able to watch it at home. This was her number one gift request for the season, and an inexpensive one at that!
We assured Emmie she would receive her Christmas wish. I visited a local video store several days later, only to hear the clerk say, "We're sold out. I would hear those words for months to come. Every store told the same story. The studio had taken the video out of circulation, and people were buying up any remaining copies. Several months of searching yielded no copy of the movie, and it seemed I would not be able to fulfill my daughter's primary Christmas gift wish.
I asked the Lord to lead me to a copy, if He saw fit. Several months passed. The middle of December arrived with no "101 Dalmatians" ("Where are those pups?!). I continued to pray, but began to wonder if perhaps the Lord, in His perfect wisdom, had decided I needed to buy Emmie a much more expensive main gift! I knew, of course, that sometimes our requests do not correlate with His will, and that God's "No" is no less loving than His "Yes." I continued to pray, but had almost given up hope that Emmie would receive the movie on Christmas Day.
A week or so before Christmas, I passed by the original video store. "Oh well, it can't hurt to stop and give it one more chance." I walked into the store and proceeded to the service desk. "How can I help you, sir?" asked the nice girl behind the desk. I responded, and the echoes of her unexpected answer ring down through the years. "Yes, we do have a copy, sir, just one actually." I could barely hear the rest of her words. The young lady's "Yes" nearly drove me to my knees on the spot. She continued, "My manager told me to sell this copy today if someone asked for it. We had reserved it for someone awhile back, and they haven't come to pick it up. Would you like to buy it?"
"Well, uh, hmmm, let me think about that. YES MA'AM!!!!!" Sometimes God seems tangible to the point of being able to reach out and touch Him. Or more literally, He has touched you. That moment in the video store indelibly etched itself upon my heart and mind. I bought the movie - of course! - and went my way rejoicing (not knowing that a far greater blessing awaited me).
As parents are wont to do, on Christmas morning we saved the big gift for last. We opened all the other packages. Emmie seemed fine, despite not having received "101 Dalmatians." Yet. In my mind, however, the drama built until finally I said, as casually as possible, "Uh, Emmie, is that another present I see behind the tree?" She went to check, and I'm pretty sure immediately knew what lay before her. She picked it up, tore the wrapping from the package, and 101 speckled puppies greeted her on the cover of the video. I'll never forget her response.
"Oh Daddy!" Emmie ran into my arms to give me what remains the tightest and most grateful hug I have ever received. We have the moment on film, thankfully, and while I haven't watched it in a few years, I do not need to. The prayers, the hug, the moment in the store, and most of all, "Oh Daddy!" vividly reside in my heart forevermore
A term in Scripture seems to mirror Emmie's "Oh Daddy!" - "Abba Father." The Lord Jesus uttered the words during His earthly lifetime, and of believers, the Bible declares, "God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying Abba Father" (Mark 14:36; Galatians 4:6). The term denotes much endearment and intimacy. Doubtless, many such moments took place in the heart of our Lord as He walked the earth. The same happens in us. Sometimes God's goodness so overwhelms us, we spontaneously burst forth with expressions of affectionate and thrilled gratitude. Emmie's "Oh Daddy!" reflected such a moment, and I will never forget this, my all time favorite "Thank you!" Many other moments have followed through the years, occasions when God's perfect faithfulness overwhelm our hearts with wonder, as it fills them with overflowing gratitude. Yes indeed, "Abba Father!"
"Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is Thine; Thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and Thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come of Thee, and Thou reignest over all; and in Thine hand is power and might; and in Thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank Thee, and praise Thy glorious name."
(I Chronicles 29:11-13)
Weekly Memory Verse
The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.