“Great bursts of light flashed forth from him as from a glittering diamond or from a shining ruby, and a rainbow glowing like an emerald encircled his throne” (Revelation 4:3 TLB).
God created rubies and diamonds in all their splendor, brilliance, and beauty, but they are only tiny reflections of his glory.
And far above rubies is the wisdom of prayer.
I truly enjoy the rings I wear. Each of them has a story.
But this ring-story is about the ruby and diamond ring my husband gave me on our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.
Jerry and I had taken some time away from work and were staying at our summer place in the mountains of rural North Carolina. We took a break from the painting we were doing and left to pick up a pizza in town. We planned to stop by the recycle center, which was on the way. As we drove, I took off my ring, carefully laying it in my lap for “safe keeping,” while I put lotion on my chapped hands. Pulling into the recycle center, I was distracted and totally forgot about the ruby ring, now hidden in the folds of my long dress. I was focused on dropping off the trash and empty bottles as I got out of the van.
It wasn’t until we were home and had finished the pizza that I suddenly realized my ring was gone! I made a frantic search of the van, hoping, praying, feeling terribly guilty and careless. Then I remembered precisely when and where I must have lost it.
The ring had fallen silently from my lap onto the driveway of the recycle center.
We drove, squealing tires and all, back to the center, where I searched the tarmac to no avail.
. . . However, as I was nose-to-the-ground, searching, I felt someone watching. Paul, the keeper of the center, looked over at me, his weathered face holding a broad grin.
“Did you lose something?”
Did I lose something! Well, the poor guy ended up being hugged after he dug into his shirt pocket, brought out a business card, and handed it to me.
And here’s my miracle, one more answer to my fervent prayers. Sue, a young woman, whose husband had passed away the week before, had found my ring and prayed about what to do. She’d seen the ring on the asphalt drive of the recycle center, sparkling in the afternoon sunshine and thought a little girl must have lost her Cracker Jack© box ring. Picking it up, she quickly realized the ring was no Cracker Jack© prize! She found one of her husband’s business cards with their phone number on it and used it to write a note: Found, lost ring. Call and describe, then she left the card with Paul.
Thankful and elated, I called her and described the ring. We ended up sharing our love and faith and trust in our Lord Jesus. Jerry and I drove to Sue’s home on the tip-top of a mountain to meet her. In spite of her grief, Sue rejoiced with me through tears and hugs as she returned the ring that always reminds me of the first twenty-five years of my marriage.
We are each so greatly beloved by God that he does not want any of us to be lost. The passion with which I searched to find my lost ring reminds me of Jesus’ Parable of the Lost Coin. In the parable, the woman, who lost a single coin out of her set of ten, experienced that passion. I imagine that she hoped and prayed she’d find it, like I did, but Jesus says, she lit a lamp, swept her house, and searched carefully until she found her lost coin. And she was so ecstatic when she found it, she rejoiced . . . well, we’d say partied, with friends and neighbors!
“I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance. Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’” (Luke 15:7-9 NKJV)
Are you, like me, constantly in awe of how when we live and walk in the light of Christ, that there are no coincidences, and that no detail is too small for God. I love how he weaves the lives of his children into a beautiful tapestry of love and caring.
Have you ever lost, then found, something you treasure?