Do you remember a TV game show in which contestants raced through a grocery store filling a cart? Whatever they could grab in a limited time was theirs to keep for free.
If you were playing, what would you put in your buggy? What part of the store would you head for first? Maybe the meat counter? Grab some expensive steaks while someone else is paying? The bakery? Stock up on things that somebody else has already cooked? Would an eight-year-old have different priorities?
Whatever you would choose, can you imagine anyone declining the free spree? Maybe some would consider it beneath their dignity to be interested in something free. Perhaps some would wonder what strings might be attached, whether there would be some obligation in return for the free goods.
Most of us, however, would jump at the chance to shop for free. And the good news is that you can. God himself offers you a free shopping spree.
“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!” he invites us. “Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost” (Isaiah 55:1). Without money and without cost! What a deal!
Of course, he’s not talking about groceries. This is an analogy for what our souls hunger and thirst for. He’s promising that we can fill our carts with the best of life without cost.
So, back to our question, what part of the store will you head for? It’s possible to be like the eight-year-old – to stock up on free candy, ice cream, and soda and miss out on what’s better. We may load our buggies with possessions that neither satisfy nor last – houses, cars, and toys that won’t make us happy. We may fill our carts with sweets that have no substance – cheap thrills, physical relationships, and the latest high.
Our father warns us, “Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare (Isaiah 55:2).
He not only wants to fill our buggy for free, but he wants to guide us to fill it with the good stuff – with love, grace, peace, and joy, to name a few.
The clock is running. The merchandise is free. Grab the good stuff.