“It was only a thing.”

While we were living in Scotland, my husband’s parents stopped to visit us on their way back to the USA after ministering in India. Their work had been fruitful, but very demanding, and now they had come to spend some time with the six of us. How excited we were to see them after our long separation! We sat all afternoon catching up and enjoying each other’s company.

When I got up to fix dinner, Daddy said to Mother, “Anne, why don’t we call the airport and see if there’s any sign of your ring?” It was then that I noticed something was missing. For years I had seen Mother wear a striking jewel-studded ring on her right hand, a generous thank you from a neighbor she had introduced to Christ.

As Daddy called the airport, Mother told us that earlier that morning while they were waiting for their connection in London, she had removed her ring to put on some hand lotion. She was so tired that she forgot to put her ring back on. It must have fallen unnoticed to the floor when she stood to board their flight to Aberdeen. 

The ring—valuable in itself and priceless as a personal gift—was surely lost. And yet she hadn’t fussed over it as we sat and visited. I asked her how she could be so calm about what seemed to me a real loss.

“Well, Jani,” she said, “I have to think the right thing in my head. It begins between my ears. Yes, I am very sad to lose that ring because it was so precious to me. But it was only a thing. Jesus is more precious. If I lose everything, I still have all the riches of Christ.”

What real loss are you currently dealing with? And what's going on "between your ears" as you view your loss?

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About the Author

Jani Ortlund

Jani Ortlund

Jani Ortlund, Executive Vice President of Renewal Ministries, loves spending her energies connecting women with the Word of God. Serving Jesus Christ through writing, speaking and discipling are her chief passions in life. Jani and Ray, Pastor of Immanuel Church, have four married children and twelve grandchildren, and minister in Nashville, Tennessee.

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