In fact, he had a 1940 Chevrolet convertible. He was more than happy to let me look it over and sit in it as he told me the story of how he found it in a far away place, went and got it, paying a great deal for what was at the time a very rough frame and several boxes of parts. He had painstakingly, and with great expense restored the vehicle to show quality. But he doesn’t trailer the car to shows… he actually drives it… because he wants to enjoy it. As he told me the story, I couldn’t help but think about the story of our Father finding us and going to great lengths and expense to redeem and restore us.
After showing me the car, he took me to another area of the basement and I saw some trophies. I figured I knew what they were for, but asked him. He began telling me about which car shows they were from and what they were for. Then he said, “But there’s one there that means more than all the others.” I waited, expecting him to tell me of a famous car show experience. As he grabbed one that was not any taller than the others he said, “This one here… it is from my granddaughter.” I was taken aback. He went on to tell me the story.
“We were at a trophy shop one day. She said she wanted a trophy. So I bought it for her. She was very glad to have it. Then one time she won an award and told me, ‘Papaw, I want to give this to you.’ I told her that was not necessary, but she insisted. At a later time I told her that whenever she wanted it back she could have it. She looked at me and said, ‘No Papaw… it is yours. I give the trophy to you.’”
This burly former mechanic and show car enthusiast began to tear up. “I wouldn’t take anything for that. I’d give away anything in this basement before I’d give that away.” And I could tell he meant it. That trophy probably cost him less than $20. The 1940 Chevy cost him tens of thousands of dollars.
I couldn’t help but think of the story in the book of Revelation where the apostle John saw a vision of the future. He saw a representation of the saints in Heaven and here is what he wrote…
“Four living creatures covered with eyes in front and in back were in the middle and around the throne. The first living creature was like a lion; the second living creature was like a calf; the third living creature had a face like a man; and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings; they were covered with eyes around and inside. Day and night they never stop, saying: ‘Holy, holy, holy, Lord God, the Almighty, who was, who is, and who is coming.’
Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor, and thanks to the One seated on the throne, the One who lives forever and ever, the 24 elders fall down before the One seated on the throne, worship the One who lives forever and ever, cast their crowns before the throne, and say: ‘Our Lord and God, You are worthy to receive glory and honor and power, because You have created all things, and because of Your will they exist and were created.’” (Revelation 4:6-11)
There will come a time when God will give to His saved children rewards for our good deeds done on this planet. But then we will return those trophies to Him. When His faithful ones give back to Him the trophies they have earned by His power, can you imagine the emotions that will well up? I can imagine Him saying, “I wouldn’t take anything for these.” God is the One who empowers us to do good. He is the One who ‘purchases’ the trophies for us. He is glad to give us what we could not have earned apart from Him. But we recognize the source of our goodness and help.
Bo is proud of his car and all of his toys. But he values nothing greater than the trophy his granddaughter gave him. You don’t have to wait until Heaven to give God the reward He has given you. Today, offer up your best. It is His anyway. And you will make His day by giving Him the glory He gave to you.
[Bible quotes are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible, unless otherwise noted.]
Find more of David’s work at Heart Of Ministry.