Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Fulfillment (04/06/06)
TITLE: Back Order
By Al Boyce
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She put me on hold .... for a long, long time.
On hold for fulfillment, I thought. How appropriate. Aren't we always waiting to be fulfilled?
By the time I'd heard every song on the hold music twice, I finally reached the Fulfillment Department. It turned out I was still a long way from fulfillment.
Once I supplied the invoice number, order number and parts number, they were able to confirm the order had been received. Unfortunately, someone here had later called to make changes in the order, so IBM couldn't honor the originally promised shipment date.
"Please hold while we transfer you to shipping," the Fulfillment Department woman said pleasantly.
As I listened to set #3 of the on-hold music, I wondered why this whole experience seemed eerily familiar. It seemed like I had just been hearing about -- or maybe reading about -- someone in this same position, someone who lost a promise because they were unable to keep their part of the bargain.
The LORD will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the LORD your God and walk in his ways. - Deuteronomy 28:9 (NIV)
We didn't keep those commands. We wanted to amend the contract; nitpick the service level agreement; quibble over the cost.
God patiently put the order on hold and placed the parts in His storehouse (no doubt next to the snow and the hail).
I got through to the Shipping Department and explained our problem.
They apologized for not being able to ship the order, but added, "There is a bright side to all this. Those parts have come down considerably in price since the original invoice, so if you still want them, you'll save quite a bit."
We humans couldn't afford the price of the Old Covenant. We couldn't follow all the laws; couldn't abandon our idols long enough to have fellowship with God.
Now the cost has come down. Jesus has bought up our inventory of sin and is offering salvation at bargain-basement prices.
All we have to do is believe.
I confirmed the order with the Shipping Department. They were more than happy for our business, even at the lower cost.
And God is thrilled to have us back. Even the renegotiated prices represent a tremendous "savings" to Him.
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