“Where You Go, I Will Go!"
by Steve Trullinger
Jesus is alive and loves to manifest his reality to his brothers and sisters (the Body of Christ)! Indeed, he lives in each believer [see Galatians 2:20, for example] and wants them to be certain of that reality.
This desire of Jesus (and Abba!) was demonstrated to me in a profound way during my tour of Israel in 2007 with a team of about 30 members of my church. I hope to encourage you by sharing the story of an Israeli ring that I wear, a ring that is indeed “precious” and Jesus is very much the Lord of this ring. [Apologies to fans of J.R.R. Tolkien for “borrowing” some of his terminology.]
On one of the mornings of our tour, we all boarded the tour bus parked at our hotel in Jerusalem and waited eagerly for our tour guide to join us so we could begin another exciting day of sightseeing and soaking in the history to be shared with us by our knowledgeable guide. But when he boarded the bus, he asked us for a couple of minutes of our time so that could introduce us to his friend that was with him. This friend was a “trusted” jewelry merchant and our guide wanted to give us the opportunity to purchase souvenirs from someone whom we could trust.
Indeed, the merchant passed out brochures describing custom items such as necklaces, brooches, bracelets, rings, etc., that we could order, and he promised delivery of the items the next morning. He did not take any money in advance, saying that he could be paid when he delivered the goods.
Several team members placed orders with the merchant, but I was not personally interested in buying any jewelry so I returned the brochure to the merchant without placing an order.
The next morning, the merchant boarded the bus, delivered the custom items and collected the payments from his customers. All of them were quite pleased with their purchases and excitedly shared their delight with their neighbors aboard the bus. Because of the quality of the jewelry items, other team members asked if it was too late to order also. As you can guess, the merchant handed out brochures again so more orders could be placed.
As he was doing so, I heard a voice say to me, “Buy a ring!” I ignored it, but heard the voice again say the same thing, “Buy a ring!” This time I said, “Shut up, Satan! I’m not buying a ring.” Then I heard a firm voice command me again, “Buy a ring!” This time, I realized it was the Lord and I apologized for calling him Satan!
I reluctantly asked the merchant for a brochure and found the cheapest ring, about $50 in price. I told the merchant I will order that ring, but he replied, “Oh, no. That ring is too thin and feminine. You need a ‘masculine’ ring.” I rolled my eyes in exasperation and said, “OK, how much is the ‘masculine’ ring?” He said the price was $80. I feared any further disobedience, lest I wind up with a ring costing $200! So, I ordered the ‘masculine’ ring (a silver band) for $80. He asked what inscription I wanted on the band, and I chose this one:
“Where you go, I will go.”
I felt like I would be making a promise to Jesus to go wherever he goes, much like the promise that Ruth made to Naomi [see Ruth 1:16] as an expression of devotion to her mother-in-law. The merchant made note of my order, but did not measure my ring size, which I thought was curious.
The next morning, he returned with all the follow-on orders for the team members, including mine. He gave me my ring with the inscription I had chosen, written in Hebrew. It fit perfectly on the ring finger of my right hand, even though the merchant had not sized my finger the day before. I paid him the $80 and thanked him for the very nice ring that now graced my finger.
I felt a great deal of pleasure regarding the ring as an expression of my covenant with Jesus to go wherever he goes, and I continued to ponder that for a few moments until I heard the Lord say to me, “And where you go, I will go!” My eyes filled with tears of joy as I realized this ring was representing a two-way covenant between the Lord and myself. As I sat in my seat on the bus, marveling at this new covenant ring on my finger, I then heard the Lord say to me so sweetly,
“I am the one who put the ring on your finger!”
Since that day, I have not removed the ring except to show it to friends who ask what it represents. Wherever I go, Jesus (and Abba) are both with me! I have the precious covenant ring from my Lord on my finger as evidence and a frequent reminder of my constant companions!
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