I lost my ring on Saturday night. I went to church Sunday morning. A new church. A different church. God must have known I’d go there because every word shared, song sung, prayer prayed and bible verse explained was for me. Someone brought a word for anyone feeling in a battle or oppressed ( yes that would be me) .God wanted to put a bomb under that oppression and blow it apart. The name of the bomb was ‘Hope’.
These things shouldn’t surprise me anymore, but they still do.
He had my attention.
After that I found myself singing ‘Here I am , empty handed but alive in your hands’ and as I looked at my hand, emptied of the ring which has been ever present for two months, and which was bought to replace another which had been ever present for 7 months before that one, I realised that my lost ring symbolised all sorts of things. And not just good things.
Maybe it’s right that I am empty handed again.
The previous ring had associations with the other. It symbolised all kinds of things that I shouldn’t have accepted into my life. The new ring was to replace it, but it too had associations that I think maybe my Father wants me to set aside too. It spoke of individuality and career success and my own merits and wealth.
I bought it to celebrate an achievement. I thought I was celebrating me in its purchase ( I am starting to believe it’s a good thing to celebrate myself ) but in fact I think I may have been celebrating ‘me being successful, and lauded’ . I bought it with prize money, but I liked having the money to spend on an extravagant piece of jewellery for myself. When I bought it I was remembering the other telling me that my hands were beautiful and should be adorned. I was showing my desire to knock convention by wearing it on my thumb and not a finger – really not an issue, except if that was about an attempt to gain strength from my own personhood rather than who I am in Christ.
Believe me, this isn’t about trying to make myself feel bad or give myself a guilt trip.
It did neither.
As I looked at my hands empty of jewellery I felt freed.
The Spirit whispered to me – It wasn’t right to try to replace one set of meanings with another. Why are you still looking for meaning in the wrong places ?
The preacher spoke of our notion of battle being an evenly matched fight between Jesus and Satan. He reminded us that it’s not. Jesus has won. Satan is just a fallen angel. He took us back to Genesis – ‘He shall crush your head and you shall bruise his heel’. I have heard that so many times, but for the first time I realised the absolute wipe out of one of those options versus the annoying nature of the other.
Hmmm would I rather have my head crushed or heel bruised ?
Who’s got the power ?
The lady who brought the word about he Hope bomb, prayed with me at the end. As I prayed, she said she’d had a very clear word for me. Jesus wanted to meet my deepest need. She didn’t know what that was , but He said that I won’t find it met anywhere else or by anyone else, only by HIm. There was more compelling detail in his message to me.
I know what my need is – it is to be known and loved. That’s the need that was feeling unmet in my marriage and I thought that it was met elsewhere by the other. Except that it wasn’t. I was known, but ultimately I wasn’t loved.
So here I am, empty handed once again,
My hand is free to hold the hand of Jesus who wants to meet my need.
I’m holding hands with the Head Crusher.
God is enough