Wednesday, July 12, 2017 by Sandi Banks

Value versus Cost

Surely no self-respecting rose lover would leave Quito Ecuador, the Rose Capital of the World,  without a rose.

So I stepped onto the plane cradling a dozen fresh, fragrant long-stemmed red roses. 

Cost me 96 cents for the dozen.

On the flight back to America, my arms cradled the flowers, while my senses frolicked in their beauty. I gazed at the gently unfolding buds. I stroked the velvet-like petals. And I might have sniffed all their elegant fragrance out if our plane hadn’t landed when it did. What a heavenly flight.

As we touched down on U.S. soil, I had a grand idea: share the joy. So I prayed,

                         Lord, please show me twelve people who need a rose. The very thought excited me.

Next morning, I was ready to check out of my hotel when He nudged me. The desk clerk. 

I turned and saw her. Sure enough, she appeared down, weary, disheartened. So I ran to my rental car, picked the prettiest of the twelve, and held it out to her with a big smile. “Would you like a rose?”

You’d have thought I’d given her the Hope Diamond. Her sad eyes widened and her mouth did too, forming a huge ear-to-ear grin. Tears filled her eyes as she placed the rose into a crystal vase from under the counter. She thanked me profusely and we waved a cheery farewell.

I loved brightening her day. But I felt guilty. It was only an 8-cent rose, after all.

A few days later, at the Las Vegas airport, I happened upon a vending machine: “ROSES FROM ECUADOR.” Just put in a 20-dollar bill, and down drops ... one rose.

I thought back to the hotel clerk. Would I have felt better having given a rose I’d spent 20 dollars on, than one I’d bought for a mere 8 cents? Would she have been any more enamored with the more expensive one? It was no different – looked identical, smelled identical, probably came from the same litter in Quito.

The only difference was in the price tag, not in the value.

Dear one, you may have days when you have felt like that 8-cent rose. Maybe much of your life has been spent looking at the “20-dollar roses” around you – folks in your home, workplace, church, school, TV, magazines—and you’ve felt like you don’t measure up, you’re of little value. You may have people in your life, as I did, who told you, in word or deed, how worthless you are. And, as I did, you believed them.

But you and I believed a lie. The Bible speaks truth:

God, who created you and me, says we are valuable—infinitely more valuable than a 20-dollar rose. His Son Jesus paid the price for us at Calvary. Our salvation cost us nothing, but it cost Him—our Rose of Sharon—everything. That should bring grateful tears to our eyes.

Have you thanked Him today?

Nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. -Romans 8:39

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