Rubies, a precious jewel, second only to diamonds in hardness and much rarer.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an expensive jewelry fan – but when looking in jewelry store windows, I have always been drawn to these red beauties. And then I found out it is very rare these days to get a true ruby. Most are lead-filled or otherwise compromised. A real ruby of size would be very costly.
No wonder Solomon said this about wisdom: “She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.” (Proverbs 3:15 NIV) And believe me, if anyone had a lot of rubies, it was Solomon.
When Solomon took the throne of his father, David, the Lord spoke to him in a dream telling him to ask for whatever he wanted from God. Solomon recounted his father’s faithfulness, and asked for a discerning heart, to be able to distinguish between right and wrong. And we are the recipients of God’s lavish gift of wisdom to him.
God has written lessons throughout His Word using what we consider ‘precious’ or ‘valuable’ here on earth as comparison. In speaking of all this stuff of life we have to endure, He said: “These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine…” (1Peter 1:7 NIV)
All the rubies and gold will someday be consumed and laid to ash, but our faith, that stands the test of time, will be held up as more precious than all these combined.
And yet not even this can be accomplished by us – “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:9 NIV) Wish it was a big box with a loopy bow on top? Open it up and be consumed by faith, so there is no room for doubt? Yet it comes in baby steps, in packages we would rather not open. Packages of hard stuff: sickness, financial hardships, death, and many other ugly things that we would rather keep the lid on.
Through these comes the gift of faith. Don’t know about you, but when things are easy, I don’t think about trusting Him as much. But when the battle is warring, I’m grasping for all the trust I can get. Looking for it at every turn.
And, surprise, when I look back from the other side of grief or worry – I see faith was right there with me. Not mine but His – His faithfulness in my faithlessness. A big ‘ol gift dwelling in me by His Holy Spirit. Who needs rubies? I’ve got God who adorns me with more than all the world’s treasures!
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