Thursday, August 28, 2014

No Change Needed

Last Friday was deemed "Camp Daddy-O" as it was the last weekday of summer as school began on Monday for my fourth grader Faith and third grader Joshua.
In The Woodlands, Texas there are 14 (count em...14) neighborhood pools. Only 12 of them are open on Fridays. The "Camp Daddy-O" challenge for the day was can we (Daddy, Faith and Joshua) hit all twelve pools in one day.

Pool number 1 was entered at 12:00 pm. Pool number 12 was entered at 7:15 pm. It was an amazing day! On the way to pool number 11 we drove by a locally owned and operated Lemonade Stand. The four employees ranged in age from 4 to 12. The owner was a mom who had promised the kids all summer that they could do a Lemonade Stand before the summer was over. Sure enough, Mom held true to her word. On the last day of summer the Lemonade Stand on Alden Bridge Drive was open for business!

The cardboard homemade sign proudly proclaimed "Lemonade 25 cents!"
I drove up to the stop sign...rolled down the passenger window and yelled, "I want some lemonade."
A boy of about 12 years of age with bright brown eyes bounded over to the car.
I said, "I would like two cups of lemonade please."
He smiled at me as I leaned over and handed him a 20 dollar bill.
His bright brown eyes lit up brighter than the spotless blue sky when I followed that gesture with,
"No change please..."

"No change?", he muttered.
My smile increased tenfold, "No change needed."
The boy hesitantly said, "Thank you" and then ran off to the lemonade stand where his mom was busy manning the cash box. He gestured wildly with his arms. His mom looked up at him and her jaw dropped and then she leaned slightly to her left and shouted, "No, we can give you change."

My smile disappeared as I shook my head and mouthed the word, "NO" right back at her.
Her smile disappeared as well, "No, seriously, we can give you change."
I simply kept shaking my head while mouthing the words, "NO" over and over.

Next thing I knew a little girl about four years old in a pink lacy dress walked slowly over with one cup of lemonade in her hand. She extended her little innocent arms as far as she could and I extended my tennis tanned arms as far as I could and we barely met at the threshold of the window. I exclaimed, "Thank you!" She shyly smiled and made a quick turn as her flowing curly blonde hair tried desperately to keep up with her spinning head.

The brown eyed boy returned with the second cup and handed it off to Joshua. He was quickly followed by his mom. She came right up to the passenger window, stuck her whole head into the car, extended her right hand and said, "Thank you so much! The kids have been wanting to do a lemonade all summer and finally on the last day of summer before school started we decided to do it."

My face gleamed from ear to ear as I held her hand and offered these words, "I vowed a long time ago, whenever I would see children working a lemonade stand I would stop and give them the largest bill in my wallet. I love blowing their minds away."

Our hands parted ways. She gripped the side of the car with her hands, smiled a big Texas size smile and said once again, "Thank you... thank you so much. This will be something the kids will remember forever." With lemonade in my hand, I flashed a 25 cent lemonade smile right back at her and gently let my foot off the brake and drove away.

In the backseat, Joshua was incredulous at the scene that had just unfolded before his very eyes. "Dad! Did you see that boy's face when you handed him the 20 dollar bill? His face was brighter than the sun!"

I laughed out loud and asked my little mathematician, "Do you know how much I overpaid them for the lemonade?" Joshua's little face wrinkled up a bit as his mind was doing some major calculating. "Nineteen dollars and fifty cents", he proudly proclaimed.
"That's right!", I affirmed.
My next question threw him for a loop.
"Do you know how many times over I paid for the lemonade?"
He paused and then finally said, "No, how many times over dad?"
The answer was easy, "40!"

My iWitness...

For whatever reason, the number 40 is a special number in the Bible. If anyone ever asks you a question that has to deal with a number from the Bible just say, "3, 7, 12, or 40." You are bound to be right with one of those answers.

The number 40 is mentioned 146 times in the Bible.

Noah and his family experienced rain for 40 days and 40 nights.
All of Moses major changes in life happened in 40 year intervals - At 40 he went into exile after killing a man. At 80 God called him from the burning bush to set His people free. At 120 God called him home.
Moses spent 40 days and 40 nights on Mt. Sinai
Moses led the people through the desert for 40 years.
Psalm 40 was made into a song by U2.
Jonah spent 40 days and 40 nights telling Ninevah of their imminent destruction.
The first three kings of Israel, Saul, David, Solomon each reigned for 40 years.
Jesus fasted and was tempted in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights.
After Jesus' resurrection he walked this earth for 40 days and 40 nights.

All that to say, the number 40 is special!

Now to my point! (You were wondering if there was every going to be a point!!)

How many times do we put out a sign humbling asking God to buy two cups of grace for 50 cents to forgive us?

Then again, how many times does God graciously approach us and say to us,
"That's all you want?
That's all you need?
50 cents of grace?
How bout I offer to you 40 times that much?",
as He hands us a twenty dollar bill of grace to cover a multitude of cups...

How many of us bound off into the day ahead with our hearts full and our minds blown from the fact that we look at Him and say, "I can provide change", when in our hearts we know we can't.

How much fun God must have as He looks at us and then He looks to His right at Jesus and then back to us with a smile gleaming from ear to ear whispering in our unbelieving ears:
"No change needed!"

And that's my iWitness...
Laugh often and Fear not!

"Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4. 16)