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Child's Gift Made Acceptable by the Provision of His Father

Once upon a time, there was a king who looked from his palace window and saw one of his children collecting flowers in a distant field. The king watched as the child collected the flowers into a bouquet and wrapped it with a royal ribbon of royal colors. The king smiled because the ribbon indicated that the flowers were being collected as a gift for his own pleasure. Then the king noticed that the child—because he was a child—gathered not only flowers. From time to time, the child also added some weeds from the field, and some ivy from the border of the woods, and some thistle from the unmown banks of ditches."

To help his laboring child, the king gave a mission to his oldest son, who sat at his right hand. The king said to his eldest son, "Go to my garden and pick from the flowers that grow there. Then, when your sibling comes to my throne room with his gift, remove all that is unfit for my palace from his bouquet. Make it fit by putting in its place the flowers that I have grown."

The elder brother did exactly as his father had instructed. When the younger child came to the throne room, his brother removed the weeds, the ivy, and the thistle, substituting all with flowers from the king's garden. Then, the firstborn son rewrapped the royal ribbon around the bouquet so that his sibling could present his gift to the king. With a beaming smile, the younger child entered the throne room, presented the gift, and said, "Here, my father, is a beautiful bouquet that I have prepared for you." Only later would he understand that his gift had been made acceptable by the gracious provision of his father.


Bryan Chapell, Unlimited Grace (Crossway, 2016), pages 17-18

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