When we were much younger, my now ex-husband lost his wedding ring. We couldn’t find at anywhere, no matter where we looked. We turned our tiny apartment upside down in search of that thing, to no avail.
Months later, while I was cleaning out dresser drawers, I found it in the bottom of his sock drawer. Now, we had looked there, I’m sure of it. How we missed it, I’ll never know. But I took that ring and put it in his Christmas Stocking, for a shock on Christmas morning.
A wedding ring is an important part of a marriage. It symbolizes much…unity, eternity, commitment, etc. But just because that ring was lost, didn’t mean we weren’t still married. We were just as married as if he still had his ring on.
Later in life, through tragic and heinous circumstances, our marriage did end. But it took a lot more than just the removal of a wedding ring. It took one complete year of legal work as well as my going before a judge before our marriage would be declared dissolved.
Why do I share this story? Because it’s been something I’ve been personally struggling with lately. No…not the tragedy of my divorce, though that always brings heartache. No, instead I’ve been wound up over the ideas of losing salvation and losing faith.
Maybe your mind doesn’t work the same way as mine, but I have wrestled and wrestled with this for the past 1.5 weeks, maybe a little longer. It’s caused me much grief. Because for several days, an all consuming fear penetrated by soul…..my faith in God seemed to be completely gone. And so, with that absence, I wondered if that meant my salvation was also gone.
Sure, I grew up hearing the phrase “Once Saved, always Saved.” But what I’ve come to believe is this: We are great at pithy sayings; we are not so great at explaining the theology that may or may not be attached to those pithy sayings.
I was a wreck. Combine that with the fear of losing my job (you can read my Post Valentine’s Date for the update on that), and I was a complete wreck. I stopped studying, stopped praying, stopped all the things that make me well spiritually out of fear and terror that what I was reading was not truth.
It was a very black place to be.
But yesterday, after taking a break from work–and taking a breath–I made out a list of scripture that has been dear to me in the past and have decided to re-study each and every one of them. Starting with the very first scripture that caused me, when I was an unbeliever, to consider that there may be a God: Psalm 38. In doing so—in re-reading and re-studying David’s words, a piece of fear broke off of my soul.
There is so much in that Psalm…..so much that would be truth even if, God forbid, salvation was untruth. Because it comes from the depths of David’s soul. It is real, written by a real person in real anguish with real longings. It is not theology. It is not a story. It is the journalings of a man who is afraid, who is in desperate need of God’s help–of God’s salvation. And when I use the word salvation there, I mean saving. Both the temporal and eternal. And he’s (Daniel) not afraid to beg for it–take a look:
And this is where I find myself today…..Do not forsake me, O Lord! Do not let my faith be lost, like that wedding ring. And though my faith is wavering, O my God, let it not mean that my salvation (as a noun) is null and void like the legal dissolving of a marriage. Most urgently God, make haste to help me. Hurry! is the cry of my heart God, in this season of intense uncertainty. In this season of fear.
It’s like a puzzle, a treasure hunt, a mystery. And I’ve rediscovered the key. I must keep studying scripture. I must keep studying scripture. Like the woman who swept the house clean looking for the Lost Coin (Luke 15:8-10), I too must search for the remaining lost coins with due diligence. It is treasure. I must push forward, stopping at nothing to shore up the molecule (not mustard seed) of faith that I do have, in order that I might know that it even exists.