home speaking topics endorsements contact

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Parable of the Missed Wedding Rings



https://scontent-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/t1.0-9/1384312_10203643144625945_8297531496776372117_n.jpgWhen Larry and I married almost 44 years ago, after a really long engagement of three months, (yes, really!), we exchanged matching wedding bands that featured links. On our first anniversary, we took some diamonds from an engagement ring that my great aunt gave me and put them into a ring setting that complimented my band. Then at our thirtieth and fortieth anniversaries, I added additional bands. I value and love my rings—both for their beauty and for the connection they give me with Larry.

 



Three weeks ago, I was using a screwdriver to tighten something and it slipped and jammed into the back of my wedding ring finger. I only had on my slim band at the time, and so my skin was exposed. If I'd had on all my rings, there most likely wouldn't have been any damage, but with no protection, the screwdriver cut into my flesh pretty deep. Tweet This!

Photo
This is after almost two weeks of healing.

Because my rings rubbed against the injury, I removed them and began the wait of my finger healing. But I really missed my rings! A lot! I felt naked and self-conscious without them. In fact, I even found myself hiding my hand when I was talking with someone. I didn't want them to notice my rings were missing and maybe make some wrong assumptions.

My intense feelings of missing my rings really surprised me. I realized even more how much I enjoy them and attach value to them. I knew afresh their significance as a kind of declaration of my commitment to Larry and him to me. They represent an assurance to me and to others of our loving connection.

As I processed all this, I thought of how the Holy Spirit is God's declaration of His commitment to us—like rings at a wedding.Tweet This! I'm sure you know these verses:


Ephesians 1:13
In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,
 
Ephesians 4:30
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
 
2 Corinthians 1:22
who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.

Just as a couple exchanges rings at their wedding as a pledge of their love, God gives us the Holy Spirit at the time of our salvation to assure us that we are His—and that He has committed to keep us safe and never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).



The word "pledge" means a down payment. What we receive as Christians on this earth at salvation (our inheritance in Christ) is only a down payment toward our longed-for heavenly life in the presence of Jesus and the Heavenly Father. What a far greater investment God makes in us by giving us His Spirit than any rings exchanged between a couple. As wonderful as wedding rings are, our sealing and protection because of the Spirit's presence in our lives is far better. 

I'm thinking also of how I became injured because I didn't have my rings on to protect my finger. Likewise, when I don't claim my inheritance in Christ that the indwelling Spirit supplies, I am in danger of being spiritually injured. I won't lose my salvation but I'm not abiding in the Spirit which brings the fruit of the Spirit. 

After more than two weeks, I was able to put my rings back on and I've appreciated them even more. Plus, they've become an important reminder of God's commitment to me as His daughter.

I hope you'll meditate on your "sealing" by the Holy Spirit. If you wear wedding rings, think of the Spirit's indwelling every time you notice your rings. And if you don't, try to think of something else which will remind you.

No comments:

Post a Comment