At the age of eighty-five my mother, Mildred Conklin, was faced with a very tough decision. The doctors discovered she had a large aortic aneurism just above her heart. Her choices: Risky open-heart surgery or take her chances that it wouldn’t rupture. The odds weren’t good with either option! My mother said, “I don’t have a choice. I’m not done living for my great grandchildren yet.”
She opted for the surgery and was moved to a larger hospital in Columbus where surgery soon followed. As Mom was about to go into surgery the nurse asked her to remove her wedding band. Mom said, “No, you can just tape it. It has never been off my finger.”
The nurse explained that Mom needed to remove the band because it would burn her finger if they had to shock her. Mom reluctantly agreed, but told Dad that he had to remove it, because he was the one who put it on her finger sixty-six years ago. So, Dad removed the wedding band and gave it to me.
Following a seven-hour surgery, Dad was escorted to see Mom in recovery. The rest of us were winding down the hallways to a waiting room. Suddenly Dad and his escort appeared. Dad wanted to put the ring back on Mom’s finger, and I still had it in my purse. He put the ring on her finger but it was once again removed due to the swelling in her hands. Three days later, and upon Mom’s request, Dad permanently put the wedding band on her finger again. What a testament of love and commitment!
The band is worn and tattered. After sixty-six years of marriage the gold is much thinner than that of a small paperclip. It is so fragile and no longer quite round. There is nothing beautiful about it to the eye, but great beauty lies within. It represents hard times, good times, hard work, raising a family and all the trials of life. It is a symbol of their commitment to their marriage vows. Vows which were taken and upheld to the highest standard.
Just as my parents are married and committed to one another, Christ asks the same of us. In the Bible, we are often referred to as the bride of Christ. He desires a covenant relationship with each of us. One such example can be found in Hosea.
I will betroth you to Me forever;
Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice,
In lovingkindness and in compassion,
And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness.
Then you will know the LORD.
(Hosea 2:19–20 NASB)
Can you hear God calling you into a love relationship with Him in these verses? Just as the gold band represents commitment to my parents, God asks us to be fully committed to Him. It is a lifetime commitment to walk with Him daily. We will face trials, but when we are devoted to Christ, He will strengthen us.
Trust in the LORD and do good.
Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
Take delight in the LORD,
and he will give you your heart’s desires.
Commit everything you do to the LORD.
Trust him, and he will help you.
Commitment. It can be a short-term commitment, maybe a few days or weeks to complete a task. It can be a sixty-six-year, death-till-we-part commitment like my parents. But a lifetime, loving relationship with God will be like no other commitment you will ever make. He will lead you and cover you with grace during times of failure. Please make a promise to the Lord today by praying, “Yes Lord, I love you with all my heart, and I trust You. I will follow wherever You lead me today and always. Amen.”
Oh, the wonderful places He will take you, once you give yourself to Him wholeheartedly.