“Look at what’s in front of you,” our friend Dave challenged me.
I looked at my husband’s hand, holding a glass of water. Was the water clearer than before? Don and Dave had worked in the yard most of the day.
“Your hand is shaking,” I said to my tired man.
“She’s not looking at the right thing,” Dave grinned.
I looked again. And there it was, right in front of me, on the third finger of Don’s right hand … the gold, sapphire and diamond ring Don lost in the yard about four months ago. He had missed it, having worn that particular ring from a former company for many years. But we had given up on ever finding it. The ring was significant, given to him by a company he enjoyed working with; and when the initials wore away and an insert fell off and was lost, we replaced them with a sapphire I had, and several small diamonds. Don wore it daily, including pruning and gardening in the dirt, and woodworking.
Today, as Dave raked leaves out by the well in preparation to put in a wooden walkway, he saw a shiny, perfect round something.
“Could there be a ring out here?” he asked Don.
“No, there’s no ring.” Don had looked long and hard for it at the time of its loss.
Dave raked over the leaves again, his mind holding onto what he’d seen.
“Did anyone ever lose a ring here?”
“Well yes, matter of fact, I did a few months back.”
Oh no, thought Dave. Now I’ve covered it again in the leaves and dirt and won’t find it … but there it was, on top of the leaves. Picking it up, he handed Don’s sentimental, handsome ring back to him. And we all rejoiced like the woman in scripture who searched for her lost coin and rejoiced and told her neighbors when she found it.
I thought how we had to give that ring up for lost before the Lord revealed it to us again. We had done that, let it go. And now, months later, God’s grace and Dave’s eagle eye spotted its shine in the dirt. Sometimes God challenges us to give up things that are important to us before he returns them, or something better, to us. Not because he doesn’t want us to enjoy good gifts, but because our holiness – our focus on Him – is more important to him than our little pleasures. And He so often develops our character through the challenges life brings our way. He wants the best for us, and the best is our relationship with and trust in Him.
And it is also precious that He cares even about the little things. And in the light of eternity, of world and personal tragedies, a lost ring is a little thing. But we are invited to “Cast all your cares on Him, for He cares for you.” I Peter 5:7.
To what are you and I holding on?
We’re preparing to move this Fall. Much as we love our home in Soquel, the care for three acres is getting to be too wearing. We’re in that process of determining what to keep and what to let go of. Not always easy decisions when much of what we have comes from our travels, from people we love, from our own interests. But we are downsizing and will have to make some tough decisions. I pray that I will hold material things loosely, being wise in what to keep and what to release, for the good of others and our own benefit; and that I will trust God to lead in the process.