The Never Ending Chronicles of The Ring, Lesson 1: HOPE in the Promise
Imagine looking down at your wedding ring and the largest diamond was missing! That is just what happened in February of 2010 as I was dropping my son Frederick off at school. I looked down and it was gone, prong and all. My heart skipped a beat! I had to look away and then back again to make sure I was actually witnessing that giant void! I certainly was. Where could it be? Shock set in.
When I got home I went straight to my room thinking maybe it came off while I was sleeping. Stripping the bed I realized how impossible this task seemed to be. With all the millions of places it could have fallen, to spot that little guy in all the space of our world just seemed impossible. It would be like finding a needle in a haystack. A diamond in the rough.
I sat down on my bed. “God, how on earth am I going to find this? You know where it is, you can see it right now. But to me it seems impossible for it to just ‘show up’”. And as the words were still on my lips I looked down and saw a little something on the ground.
A flicker of hope stirred my heart. I picked it up...
It was a little fake diamond that looked like it was from one of my daughter Shirin’s costume jewelry rings. Big sigh! A wanna-be diamond with no value at all. How ironic. “You do have a since of humor, Lord.” I placed it in the palm of my hand and spoke as if it had ears, “I’ve never seen you before.” And to think, it could have been vacuumed, thrown away or in a corner somewhere but instead it was right there in plain view for me to discover.
At that moment I sensed God speaking to my heart, "Nothing is impossible with me. If this tiny counterfeit can be found then it is possible for your true diamond to be uncovered... and it will."
“I’ll take that as a promise.” I said out loud. “I won’t give up hope. I’ll keep searching.”
At that point I was on a quest! Not a frantic one, but a diligent one! A pursuit in finding what God says is findable. But after exhausting all possible hide outs I found myself shifting back to my daily responsibilities, like the hunt was off. I’ll probably just stumble upon it one day, hopefully before it is replaced.
Hope has a way of fading doesn’t it? I mean I can anticipate, trust, expect and even wish for something unseen like a lost diamond, a certain job or a restored relationship. I can be optimistic, dream, desire and even plan for when the time might arrive... as soon as I find that ring… when I write that book… as soon as I am sanctified. But hope dwindles fast when the dreadful combination of time and human impossibility comes together. I am a woman of faith that received a promise, right? And yet my time, devotion and focus can wander off. And it’s not just with the ring, there are so many areas in my life where I will settle for the counterfeit identities and forget the promise of royalty that comes with being a child of the most high king. My lack of patience in seeing a promise fulfilled holds my faith captive again and again. My expectation of a diamond revealed turned into a not so optimistic plan to replace. A lesson in faith verses a lesson to have my prong checked more often. To my shame I started to favor the latter.
So I was just becoming OK with replacing my diamond when my wandering off and God’s timing along with his way of making the impossible possible met face to face. On a Sunday morning I reached into my cupboard for a small egg-making frying pan. Can you guess? Right next to the bottom stacked pan, with the prongs still on it, was my wedding ring diamond! I couldn’t believe it. It laid there while I screamed with excitement! Without hesitation I remembered the promise shouting, “YES! Thank you thank you thank you Lord!”
All doubt, all despair that had crept in vanished. It was the same sensation you get when a good magician makes something disappear on stage. Poof! Oh man! Even with a promise I had slipped into trusting more in the seen and less on what is unseen. I was yet again humbled at how fast I could question what should be certain. Reality check Michelle! When the future is unseen and unknown I can doubt, fear and even plan for the worse. But I have a choice to resist that urge, to trust in the Lord with all my heart in all parts of my life and to lean not on my own limited understanding. I have a choice to live with HOPE. I was told once to never be afraid of an unknown future to a known God.
“I’ll take that as a promise” Abraham said when he was promised the blessing to produce a Redeemer, a Messiah that would ultimately bless all nations on the earth. How many thousands of generations passed until Jesus walked the earth? The Israelites had to be reminded again and again. God’s promises are real. Maybe that wanna-be diamond held no value, but the promise that came with it did. Do I trust all of God’s promises or just some? Do I grow weary in the promises that are long-coming? Do I live in a way, everyday, that mirrors my trust in God’s ways? God has not given up, why should I?
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
2 Corinthians 4:18