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For You

 As the story goes, back in the day, when things were going from bad to worse in Austria, a father saw the writing on the wall and began making plans to move his son away. His wife had died in childbirth, and his son was the only family he had left. The man was a wood carver by trade, and for his eighth birthday, he carved a beautiful wooden horse for his son, with wooden wheels and a string with which he could pull the toy beside him. Once the toy was finished, he also caved his initials on the horse’s underbelly, small but noticeable, so his son would know it had been his handiwork.

He was trying to sell his business when the whispers began that they were rounding people up in Germany and other parts of the continent. One night, unable to wait any longer, the man took his son and their belongings and left in the middle of the night. In their haste, the boy didn’t notice that his wooden horse was missing until they were already on the train on their way to France. The boy never knew whether it had fallen out of his bag or he’d forgotten it at home; the toy was gone.

Thirty years later, the boy, now a successful architect in Paris, returned to Austria for the first time since he’d left. He walked the streets of his old neighborhood, found the building he and his father once shared, sat in a café, and drank coffee, and as he walked through the city, he happened upon a small market where vendors brought their wares to sell. There were silver spoons and fancy plates, smoking pipes and brass doorknobs, art in gilded frames, and military uniforms. Then on a blanket on the ground, amidst trinkets and baubles, he saw a wooden horse. It was dirty, packed with grime, missing one ear, and cracked wheels, but that horse looked far too familiar to him.

The young man asked to see it, running his fingers across the wood, holding the toy gently, then turned it over and inspected the underbelly with all the focus he could muster. It was faded, almost invisible, but the initials were there, and as he ran his finger over them, he could feel the indentations.

“How much do you want for this,” he asked in broken German.

The old woman looked at the toy in his hand and said, “5 groschens,” the equivalent of five cents.

The young man pulled his billfold out of his coat pocket and began counting his money.

“Four hundred eighty-seven shilling,” the young man said, “it’s all I have. Will you take it?”

The old woman looked puzzled, then said, “That’s too much. I couldn’t take your money; it’s not worth that.”

“It is to me,” the young man answered, wiping tears from his eyes and handing the woman the stack of bills.

God chose to pay the price for your redemption without haggling, quibbling or asking for a better deal. He paid more for you than you thought you were worth on your best day, even though, for most of us, our best days are so far in the rearview that there’s nothing to see. He didn’t wait until you went on sale or were in the clearance bin. He so desired for you to be reconciled to Him that He watched as His only begotten Son wore a crown of thorns, was flogged, hung on a cross, bled, and died, without intervening.

For His part, Jesus endured the pain, the humiliation, and the alienation, all the while knowing that more than twelve legions of angels were no more than a prayer away. They did all that for you because there was no other way.

Overinflated egos being what they are, I’m sure there are individuals about who think God got a deal. He didn’t. I know I can only speak for myself, but God didn’t get a deal when He redeemed me. Nevertheless, He did it, and for this, I will be forever grateful.

I keep coming back to this because it’s such a powerful truth that far too many seem to overlook. You were only worth what He paid for you to God. Nobody knows how long that boy’s wooden horse lay on that blanket, week after week, month after month. Thousands upon thousands of people may have passed it by, and none were willing to spend five cents for it. They saw no value in it; they saw no worth. Then the young man comes along and offers everything he has because, to him, it is priceless. It wasn’t priceless because it was so exquisite; it was priceless because of who made it and the connection the young man had with it. Its value was derived from something other than the material it was made of or its execution and detail.

Isaiah 59:2, “But your iniquities have separated you from God; And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He will not hear.”

There could be no reconciliation without redemption, nor could there be salvation without redemption; for you to be redeemed, a price needed to be paid.

I’ve been accused of being overly passionate when it comes to men honoring God by the way they live, and if I have been, this is the reason for it. You were redeemed by the blood of God’s Son. How dare anyone trifle with such a precious gift? How dare anyone take it for granted or feel as though they were entitled to redemption?  

If I know I was purchased with a price, and the price I was purchased with far exceeded what I am worth, how could I not love and serve my Master? It cost God more than some of you choose to realize to redeem you from destruction.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Posted on 16 January 2023 | 12:42 pm

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