For 7 years, I’ve had a beautiful silver ring that Andy bought for me in Australia, and I’ve worn it every day and really treasured it. The only problem with this ring is that it never actually fitted my finger properly. Subsequently, over the years it’s been a regular family activity to search for ‘Mum’s lost ring’, often discovering it at the bottom of laundry piles, garbage cans and even a swimming pool!
A few weeks ago we were at the beach playing in the sea, tossing a ball around, when once again my ring slipped from my finger and disappeared into the Gulf of Mexico! There was a moment of panic and slight hysteria followed by ‘action stations’ from all the family! The boys grabbed their snorkel gear, Andy donned his goggles and we all prayed that the Lord would help us once again find ‘Mum’s ring’.
For 2 hours we snorkelled and searched back and forth where we were in the ocean, believing at any moment we would glimpse a sparkle and discover our treasure. Unfortunately, we never did. The ring was lost, and with water-logged bodies, we had to admit defeat. I wasn’t happy about this! I felt so disappointed that despite all our best efforts, having prayed every prayer we could think of, mustered mountains full of faith between us and with great expectations of success, I was still going home without my ring! During the drive home I sat quietly in the car feeling a bit like a sulky, spoilt child as I asked the Lord why, as I knew He could have helped us, He seemingly didn’t.
Then I realised that hidden inside my own heart I had a false belief. If I could only pray the right prayer and have the right amount of faith, then everything would be ‘Hunky Dory’. As I brought this to the Lord I realised our picture of God and His care for us isn’t determined by how well our life is going. He isn’t only close to us when we see rainbows and life is fuzzy and warm. We go through things in life which are more earth shattering than a lost ring, but, even then, can we allow circumstances to influence how we see God, His love for us, or our love for Him? I don’t think so. There will be times when we’ve prayed all we know to pray, sorted out all we can sort out in our lives, stood in faith, and yet we still don’t get the answer we think we want or need. We don’t like what’s happening, and we don’t see the picture clearly or understand the reasons why, (as in 1 Corinthians 13:12).
It’s at those times the Lord asks us to surrender it all to Him and hold on to the relationship we have. To trust Him even when we don’t have answers, and to draw close to Him, knowing He never changes and He’s always worthy of our praise. The words of Matt Redman’s song are true;
‘Blessed be Your name, when the sun`s shining down on me,
when the world’s all as it should be, blessed be Your name.
Blessed be Your name on the road marked with suffering,
though there`s pain in the offering blessed be Your name’.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I’m sorry that I have sometimes allowed my circumstances to define who You are and Your love for me. I realise that’s wrong and robs me of Your presence and Your peace. I recognise that there’s much about You and Your ways that I still only see and understand in part. Please, Lord, teach me how to trust You and to praise You in the good times and the bad, and to never forget that who You are, and Your love for me, never changes. In Jesus’ name, Amen.