The Pearl Ring

The other morning when I woke up, I did as I usually do; I put on my watch and rings.  On my right hand I wear a pearl ring set in a silver heart.  My parents gave that ring to me on my 15th birthday.  That took place a long time ago, meaning not only is my ring officially an antique, but I am too; however, moving right along, every time I stop a moment to gaze upon my ring, my heart warms with the memory.

I know my parents didn’t have much money at that time, so when I opened the little box they gave to me, I was, at first, without words.  I remember looking from one to the other, watching their own smiles as I stood speechless with my beautiful gift.  My father said to me, “we thought it was time our daughter had something fitting for a young woman.”  I still still feel the elation that swept over me with his words.  There was my father, recognizing that I was no longer a little girl, but one growing into adulthood, and he was pleased with me.  Oh, how I was thrilled and touched beyond measure at the meaning his words held for me.

Then my mother asked, “do you really like it?”  Her eyes shone with an anticipated joy; a hope that I, too, would feel their love in receiving the gift just as they had expressed their love in giving it.  “Oh, yes!” I replied, “I love it! Oh, thank you!”  I pulled them both in a hug, tears blurring my vision.  I don’t know exactly what the pearl ring is worth in monetary value, but to me, it is priceless, because true love can never have a value set upon it.

The other morning, as I was taking this sweet trip down memory lane, another thought came to me about something Jesus said to His followers in Matthew 13:45-46, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a pearl merchant on the lookout for choice pearls.  When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it.”  The treasure our Father has given to us through His Son is priceless, too, because His gift of eternal life with Him, quite literally,  is out of this world!  A thrilling shiver travels through me with such anticipation — to be with our Father in perfect joy and peace — forever!

Our Father’s priceless gift, given with His perfect love, is available to all.  Just take it.  Call upon His Son right now, ask for and receive both His forgiveness and His promise of eternal life with Him.  There is no gift to ever compare.

Better Than New

My mother and I took our visiting friends from England to New Orleans this week.  As I strolled about the French Quarter, I noticed a statue being renovated.  The passing of years and of weather had made the statue dull and splotchy in places.  It was easy to see, that with the renovation, the statue was going to be made to appear as it did when it was made — it would look like new.

A thought came to my mind — thoughts about the person who becomes a Christian.  Two things happen:

First, we are told in II Corinthians 5:17 that, “Old things are passed away and all things are become new.”  What a wonderful promise.  Jesus begins His work of making us into His own image.  He puts His thoughts into our minds.  He puts His desires into our hearts.  He gives us His own peace to face all situations.  He gives us courage and joy.  He fills us up with His love.  We are indeed made new, but not like the statue, restored to it’s original state; no, we are made even better because we are forgiven of all our sins.  The things that made our hearts blackened by sin, Jesus cleans up and presents us before God as if we had never sinned at all.  What love!

Second, we are given a promise of what is to come when we leave this earth.  II Corinthians 5:1 tells us, “For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down, that is, when we die and leave this earthly body, we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God Himself and not by human hands.”  What a hope.  Life for the Christian is filled with promises from God to give us all the holy assistance we need as we travel the road of our lives; then, when we reach the end of the road, our eternal home awaits us.  It’s a home where there are no more tears, no death, no pain — it’s a place of eternal peace.

When God does His restoration work in our lives — nothing at all compares to the wonder of it all!  How amazing is that!