Not For Sale

Joel Stephen Williams

One day a poor girl slipped into the garden of the queen at Balmoral. She approached the gardener and told him that her mother was extremely ill at home and she wanted to take her a flower. Since it was winter, flowers were very rare, but the little girl had seen flowers growing in the queen's greenhouses. She had saved a few pennies and asked the gardener if she could buy a single rose for her mother. The gardener was sympathetic with the little girl's request, but he replied: "The queen has no flowers for sale." The little girl was about to turn away in disappointment and return home.

Unobserved by either the little girl or the gardener, the queen had been listening through a window in the greenhouse. She stepped out and told the girl: "The gardener is quite right, my child. He has no authority to give you the flowers you want, nor does the queen cultivate flowers for sale. But the queen has flowers to give away." From a basket the queen took several rare roses and gave them to the little girl and said: "Take these to your mother with my love, and tell her that the queen sent them. I am the queen."

This story provides a good allegory for the story of salvation. We have a need for pardon for our sins. We can go to various sources and ask for forgiveness, but no human has the authority to cleanse our souls. We can not purchase redemption, because God's grace has not been cultivated for sale. However, if God decides to give his mercy away freely to a sinner, that is his right, especially in light of what Christ achieved in his incarnate life and through his death at Calvary. "The free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 6:23). We "are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 3:24).

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