(Republished with permission from Press Service International, for Christian Today Australia)
A wedding band carries all kinds of reminders; it is a symbol of love, of faithfulness, of a willingness to give and to serve. It is something precious, something of heritage that can be passed down generations, something that costs to obtain, but then is freely given out of love.
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Missing rings – a story, and a testimony
Just recently, a friend and I travelled to New Zealand. On our first day there, we explored the rocks of Castle Hill, and ventured onto the Devil’s Punchbowl waterfall track. In the middle of that first night in New Zealand, I realised my wedding rings were missing.
Trawling through photos, we suspected the wedding ring was lost at Castle Hill, and the engagement ring at Devil’s Punchbowl. It seemed there was only one ring at the waterfall, and by the time we had dessert, no rings could be seen in the photos.
By day two, we had made a police report and insurance claim. It seemed the rings were lost in the New Zealand wilderness, and I bought myself a souvenir Papua shell ring as consolation.
Seven days later, on our last night in New Zealand, I found my two rings neatly nestled together at the bottom of my suitcase!
I re-checked the photos and re-thought the events of our trip, but the miracle remained whichever way I looked at it. God is just as able to take two rings in different locations and place them in my bag, as He is able to keep them safely together amidst rummaging clothes and luggage. I was so thankful for the miracle, and God had more to show me yet!
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God loves us, even when we despise Him
My husband bought my engagement ring when he was just out of university, and it cost him dearly. When he heard about the lost rings, he was sad but said to me, “I love you, rings or not.”
How many times have we taken the precious love of God, the life paid for by the blood of Jesus on the cross, the treasure of God’s kingdom, and carelessly thrown it away in distraction and worldly pursuits? Can we even count the times God has restored what was lost? It is no small thing that He gave His only son for us. God places the ring of His love on our finger and calls us His own.
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A miracle, and a celebration for everyone
I had never met them, but after hearing the rings were found, some friends of my mother sent a text. They celebrated the return of the rings, mentioning how they prayed I would find them in my luggage. Others who heard about the rings also celebrated. We celebrated together because something that was lost had been found, because prayers had been heard and answered, because God had been faithful to show that nothing is impossible for Him.
If we had such a celebration for two small rings, imagine the roar of heaven when a person, made in the image of God, returns to the Kingdom!
“Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke chapter 15, verse 10)
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Abba; in the business of restoration
Another friend reflected on my rings, her third miraculous ring story of the year – “Abba is in the business of restoring both marriages and wedding bands it seems.”
We have a God who loves to restore what is broken, hurting and imperfect. It is God that there are so many stories of miraculous wedding ring recoveries. It is God that we can live in a broken world and still have joy. It is God that we can overcome our sin and weaknesses to live in the light of His life. Abba our Father, is in the business of restoring the world to His wholeness.
“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
Is God in His holy habitation.
He sets the solitary in families;
He brings out those who are bound into prosperity…”
(Psalm chapter 68, verses 5-6)
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The miracle is ours to believe
My mother wisely said, “Share your testimony, but it is up to them to believe the miracle.” We cannot convince people of God’s glory on our own strength, but we can be vessels through which that glory is revealed.
We called simply to let God shine through us; through our testimonies, and through our way of living. God does the rest, and it is not inconspicuous. Each of us are responsible for our own free-will.
Will we accept the free gift of salvation, the ring of God’s eternal love in Christ? Will we recognise God at work in our daily lives and give Him praise?
“And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” (1 Corinthians chapter 2, verses 4-5)
God restores, and nothing is too big, or too small for Him.