Recently I needed to have a MRI done for diagnostic reasons. Because of the magnets used, I needed to remove my medical device and jewelry. My mind was so focused on the need to remove my glucose sensor that I didn’t realize until the evening before that I still needed to remove my wedding ring.
I was told that if I did not have it off, and could not remove it, that the MRI could not be done. With an early morning appointment and jewelry stores closed, I went through all the home remedies to get my ring off. I tried soap, oil, lotion to no avail. I then tried the old dental floss trick. The only thing that I achieved was to make my knuckle more swollen. Running out of options the only thing I could think of was to cut it off. No, not with a saw, just bolt cutters. With some effort, and prying, the ring was finally off.
Now, the wedding ring that I have worn for nearly 40 years was no longer wearable. I’m sure that it can be fixed, but it represents how at times we must sacrifice one thing for another. How can we make these difficult choices? We make them by faith.
We know that our faith is only as good as the thing in which we are placing our faith. Maybe you remember the old camp song, “Oh, you can’t get to Heaven in an old Ford truck ‘Cause an old Ford truck won’t get that far.” In cutting off my ring I had faith that it could be fixed and that the MRI would offer a helpful diagnosis.
Faith. Hebrews 11:1 defines faith this way, “Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.” Biblical faith is not a blind faith but a reasonable faith based in facts, not mere hopes.
We are wise to examine the things in which we are placing our faith. We know this from the experience of having placed faith in the wrong things. Maybe it was a relationship, or possibly a “sure fire investment”; whatever it was, it can make us skeptical to trust in anyone or anything again. But we also know that this is no way to live our lives.
When I place my faith in God I am trusting in truths about Him that can be measured and observed. Verses like Romans 1:20 remind us of this saying, “For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.”
In the Psalms, David also says, “O LORD, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens. You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength, silencing your enemies and all who oppose you. When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers— the moon and the stars you set in place— what are people that you should think about them, mere mortals that you should care for them?” (Psalm 8:1-4)
Reasons for our faith in God are revealed in both the world in which we are living and in our very own life. We are awed by natures majesty and we are humbled by the awareness that the God of creation desires to have a relationship with us.
Our ability to believe this, to have faith in the Bible’s narrative, to know that it is true, rests on what we observe around us. Can we see God’s “invisible qualities” and His “eternal power and divine nature” in creation? Have we not seen the brokenness in our world that the Bible says followed our turning away from God?
If we can observe this, then is it not reasonable for us to place our faith in the redemptive plan established by God to give us eternal life, “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Faith that my ring could be repaired allowed me to pry it off, but the faith that I have in the eternal life purchased for me by Christ’s death and resurrection is even more certain. It’s a hope not based in what I can do, but a hope based in what Christ has done for me.
Eldon Peterson is pastor of the Cache Valley Bible Fellowship. His column appears on the Faith page. He can be reached at email@example.com.