Once upon a time, there was a little girl who liked to make people happy. She did whatever she could to please them. She became so lost in trying to make everyone happy that she did not know who she was or where she was going.
But there was a King, a great King, who could direct the steps of her life. He did not like to see her so unhappy, so he placed some obstacles in her path. These obstacles made it very difficult for the little girl to please others all of the time. Things got a lot worse for her before she got around the obstacles. She started carrying other people’s burdens to make them happy. She had not learned to give those burdens to the King yet or to actually trust Him with all of her life. These burdens made her sink into a deep hole. In that hole, she felt alone. No one else was there, and the only way to get out of the hole was to let the burdens go and call to the King. The longer she spent in the hole, the more she felt like dropping the heavy things she was carrying, but she refused to drop them all at once. The King felt it was in her best interest to come out of the hole slowly, so He began forging a path that would make it easier for her to leave the hole, but would still require all weights to be left behind.
As days turned to weeks, weeks to months, and months to years, she one day found herself empty-handed, calling to tue King. Once she called to the King, she had greater sight. As she looked around with her new eyes, she saw that she’d been out of the hole for some time and didn’t even know it. She was surprised at the obstacles she’d faced. The King’s servants had placed a sign by each one of them telling her what she’d done to get around it. It always involved listening and trusting the King and sometimes it involved doing something that did not seem pleasing to those she tried so hard to please. When she trusted the King, though, she pleased him, and he advanced her on the path, even though she was unaware.
After she looked around, a servant handed her a letter. She opened it and read it and this is what it said:
For all those years you were trying to please men in order to find favor wih me, you were already living in my favor. You received me and the gift I gave you long ago, but you did not understand the gift I gave you. I needed to teach you to let go of the favor of people and receive the gift of favor I’ve already given you. Now because you know you are favored with me and because you are mine, you can freely teach others what I tell you to teach. You will no longer need a letter of recommendation, for my favor rests upon you.
I love you very much.
Your daddy, the King
Surprised that the King was actually her dad, she smiled. Why had she ever doubted his goodness? He knew her well. She began to walk the path before her now. There were still obstacles, but the path was different. She was different. Doors opened without her pleading and trying to be liked and find false favor. She simply rested in the favor she carried in her heart. The favor of the King. Unknown to her, he had hidden a love letter in her heart for all to read.
“Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant —not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”
2 Corinthians 3:1-6