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coffee_cupMonday morning was grey and drizzly which made grocery shopping wet and chilly.  Way back in January a kind hearted young man who really likes my daughter gave me a Starbucks gift card for my birthday.  I was thrilled.  You may remember that Tim and I are being aggressive with our debt and coffee at Starbucks is always an ultra treat being expensive and uncommon for me – so I was pretty excited to have this gift card to use anytime.

I don’t know how it is with you, but gift cards are like a double gift for me.  There’s the fun of getting something that I wouldn’t have without the card; but there’s also the fun of knowing I could get something even when I don’t which for me translates into a gift in itself (you’re right, I may need counseling).

So that’s why I still have a few coffees left on a $20 gift card given to me in January… many times I have enjoyed knowing I could – yet chose to save it for another day.

Monday morning I had left the house without breakfast and had no plans to make coffee when I returned home, so this drizzly, wet day seemed the perfect day to enjoy a free coffee.

I bought my few items at the grocery store and went into Starbucks gift card in hand.  “I’d like a medium roast grande, please.”  [I have to practice the lingo before I go in so I don’t stumble over the words.]  I know I was smiling in anticipation of enjoying the rich brew; I was already planning to add a generous amount of cream, sugar and a few shakes of vanilla.

I imagine my disappointment was clear when the barista cheerily announced they were out of medium roast.  I could wait a few minutes while they brewed more or get a dark roast right away.  The problem for me with a dark roast is the bitterness – it really takes all the enjoyment away and this is clearly intended to be a treat so dark is out.  A few minutes was not long.  I had simply imagined waltzing in and waltzing out and this was a minor adjustment, so with grocery bags hanging off my arm, waiting it was.

I kept my gift card handy and even asked if I could pay while they were brewing but the girl said, “No” and then something else I didn’t quite catch.

It was probably 5 minutes later the same cheery barista called me over to the counter and pointed out my coffee sitting there waiting for me.  Nobody has asked for money yet, and I do this rarely enough I’m really not certain of the usual procedure, so I ask again waving my gift card, “When do I pay?”

“Oh, you don’t.  Sorry you had to wait for your coffee.”

You can only imagine my delight; not just free, but doubly free! I enjoyed the coffee and my gift card is no less than it was before.  Such a small thing, yet it brought me so much pleasure.

That moment has me thinking – if such a little thing brings me so much pleasure, is there anything I could do to bring pleasure to my Heavenly Father?  What would put a smile on His face or a spring in His step so to speak?  Look what I found:

  • [The LORD’S] pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of the warrior; the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love. [Psalm 147:10, 11]

  • How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He's the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth's foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son. [Ephesians 1:3-6 The Message]

There were other verses too, but I figured if I could live this way –

putting my hope in his unfailing love,

giving him the respect and reverential fear that he deserves

enjoying this relationship he’s brought me into through Jesus

- then maybe I can bring a measure of pleasure to the One who blesses me every day!

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