I am wearing a new ring on the little finger of my left hand. Actually, the ring is 33 years old. Bought on lay-away over a 12-month period with my babysitting money in 1984. I walked into that jewelry store on the square in the small Iowa town that I grew up in and paid for it five and ten dollars at a time.
We have a tradition in our family that when a daughter turns 16 she is given a sweet sixteen ring. My parents let me pick out a dainty blue sapphire ring that our oldest daughter now wears. But I also fell in love with a black star sapphire ring that I determined to buy myself. This was a huge undertaking when you consider that I was paid $1 an hour for babysitting and that minimum wage for my after-school job was $3.35.
I had a year to pay it off before it would be put back in the case for some other lucky girl to buy. For that year, it meant setting a goal, staying focused and making some sacrifices (well, at least what felt like sacrifices to a 16-year-old girl). It meant giving my money to the jewelry store instead of going out with friends or buying some new clothes. It meant adding more hours to my retail job and adding more weekend babysitting jobs. It meant not giving up as I headed into fall with a huge chunk still to pay.
I am wearing it now and for the next two years as a physical reminder of setting a goal, sticking to it and persevering. We will have two daughters in college in the fall. The costs of college are astronomical and right now we do not have all of the funds that are needed. But we believe that they are attending the college God has called them to, that God will honor their choice, and that the finances will (eventually) fall into place.
Which brings me back to trust - a common theme in my writing right now. I added this prayer request on the back of my church attendance card last Sunday – “Please pray that our family could trust in the Lord, lean not on our understanding, and in all our ways acknowledge Him.” This prayer comes from Proverbs 3:5-6 which goes on to say that in doing this He will make our paths straight.
“Trusting in the Lord” means that we believe God is who He says He is and that His promises are true. The God of the universe is the same yesterday, today and for every tomorrow. When we “lean not on our own understanding” it means grounding ourselves in the fact of God’s word and not in the fears of the world around us. “Acknowledging Him” means we need to be ever mindful of God day in and day out. It means choosing to serve him with a faithful and willing heart.
Precious Father – Thank you being worthy of all honor, glory and praise. Thank you that you have already walked the path before us and that you are in control. May we surrender the burdens that we choose to carry into your loving and capable hands Lord Jesus. - Amen