Buy one get one free

I stopped in Target for a few things on Monday and so, naturally, had to pick up a coffee on the way out. It’s kind of expected when you go to Target.There was only one person ahead of me, but both girls behind the counter were doing a lot of mixing and blending and whip cream topping to create two gigando frozen specialty drinks. Finally, they finished them and while one cleaned up the mess, the other rang up the order. The customer asked if she remembered the coupon and yes, she did.

And then the fireworks started.

The grand total was $12 something….and apparently the customer was waaaay better at math than I am because that was not what she had in mind paying. It seems she had a buy one/get one free coupon. She gestured toward a table, where another gal waited with a young child who was slurping down a small fruit frozen thing, and pleaded her expectations on how this transaction should have gone. She had planned to purchase one large drink, get one large drink free and since she was saving so much, had added a little treat for junior. Since she ordered the third smaller drink, that ultimately became the freebie.

Well, she was understandably irate at the injustice and the girls were understandably defensive that this was store policy and I was understandably totally uncomfortable for everyone involved and really kind of sorry I had decided to purchase my plain old regular overpriced brew ‘o the day sans coupon.

I could see the customer’s side. But Star”bucks” does kind of let you know in their name what their game is so…..we shouldn’t really be surprised when their bottom line is literally their bottom line.

But as I was driving away trying to get over the discomfort of having been a bystander for all the drama, I had to admit that I sometimes approach God with my prayer requests in similar fashion.

I hold out my “coupon” and make my request and expect to get answers and results on my terms.

My coupon is a litany of why we merit a break, or a checklist of great things that we have done for His cause, or why whoever I am praying for is so worthy of His favor, or deliverance, or healing or provision or whatever the need of the day is.

And I expect Him to deliver, by golly, because, well, we deserve to be treated fairly.


I blush to think of my Father saying, “Excuse Me?”

It is a privilege to approach the Throne of Grace and Mercy, but not one that I or anyone I pray for has earned.

We have no coupon. What we have is a pass. We are granted access to the Almighty through the sacrifice of Jesus. It is on His merit that requests are made and it is in God’s sovereignty that answers are given. And it is in His wisdom and purpose that those answers come.

It is by Grace that we receive Mercy, not because of anything we bring to the counter.

Yes, we are to approach Him – He invites us to do so, but it is good to remember who we are in light of who He is. The bottom line is that in prayer, we are seeking to do His will and bring our thoughts in line with His thoughts.

Doing so will really keep us on ….. target….=0)

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  1. Don’t you just love how God can “enlighten” us with such simple things as coffee and coupons? I’m bad to keep my eyes closed to the reminders from time to time. Thank you for bringing one to light.

    Oh…and I hope you enjoyed your overpriced-but-we-buy-it-anyway coffee. 🙂

    1. Haha! Yes …. so true….I could wait 15 minutes and make a cup at home, but just not the same somehow….gotta have my Starbucks! But true to my rebellious streak, I still order a “large”….=0)

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