Sometimes, the best lessons are learned when we’re not expecting them. One day, I was searching through desk drawers in our house for postal stamps I’d been collecting. “I hope I didn’t hurriedly stick them on envelopes or bills when I saw the mailman coming.” Then it hit me. “What about the jewelry box on the dresser in the bedroom?”
I walked in and tried opening it, but it was locked. I finally found the little brass key. “What a mess!” I hadn’t opened the box in a while. After cleaning it out, and sorting through old watches, cufflinks, and pocket knives, I found them: the “Peanuts”-Charlie Brown stamps.
And then I noticed my signet ring. I hadn’t worn it in years. My wife gave it to me one Christmas. It eventually became too tight to wear, so I put it away. But things were different now. I lost weight. I picked it up and slowly slid it on my right ring finger. It fit! I stared at the three initials: WNH.
Sometimes we forget who we are, and more importantly, how God sees us. Believe it or not, signet rings go back as far as the Old Testament. Besides jewelry, they were also used to seal or endorse important documents.
Today, a signet ring is typically marked or engraved with an image or icon meant to signify something memorable like someone’s initials, a family crest, coat of arms, or a meaningful symbol.
Maybe you want to do something meaningful for our needy world in 2021. Who doesn’t want to leave their mark? The late Frederick Buechner demystified discovering God’s will. “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
But maybe you don’t feel good enough, strong enough, or even smart enough. You won’t be able to make your mark with confidence until you know-AND-believe how God marked you, how He sees you.
“I will make you like a signet ring on my finger, says the Lord, for I have chosen you. I, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken.” (Haggai 2:23b, NLT)
“See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.” (Isaiah 49:16a, NLT)
When I’m having a bad day full of doubts, I silently say to God, or out loud, 10 unchanging truths that stand up to the shifting waves of feelings and circumstances:
- God, you chose me. (Haggai 2:23b)
- God, you will never forget me. (Isaiah 49:15)
- God, you forgave me. (I John 1:9)
- God, you know the numbers of the hairs on my head. (Luke 12:7)
- God, you have written my name on the palms of your hands. (Isaiah 49:16, emphasis mine)
- God, you adopted me into your family. (Ephesians 1:5)
- God, you sealed me with the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 1:13-14)
- God, you are my friend. (John 15:14)
- God, I’m not a slave, but a heir to your kingdom (Galatians 4:7)
- God, I’m your child (Galatians 4:7)
God’s word is like a treasure chest, with sixty-six books to dig into, but a lot of us keep it locked up and put away, until it fits our moods. But life will never feel the way we want it to 100% of the time. The key to unlock God’s word is to open it.
You’ve been given a new year. What are you waiting for? Why not look up the biblical references listed above to discover specifically how God sees you. He marked you for a purpose so YOU can make a mark.