It was one of those “I don’t believe it” moments.
I entered the bathroom with one earring in my left ear, the other earring still in my hand, and bumped that hand against the doorknob…which sent the earring flying out of my hand, into the wall and dropping straight down…through the slanted vent covering of the heater duct, then on down the ducting pipe.
I could have practiced such a maneuver for hours and not successfully repeated it. I was genuinely nonplussed for several seconds. I had heard both a clunk and short sliding noise as metal slid downward against metal. So I stood, unmoving as I weighed my possibilities of attempting recovery or simply accepting the loss.
But here is an example of optimistic faith: despite what my senses informed me about the fate of that earring, I reached down and pulled up the vent cover…
And discovered my gold earring precariously perched on a duct joint, its little Christmas tree dangles hanging over the cliff of the two-story drop into the great dark beyond. Obviously, I was delighted. I quickly retrieved it, lest an updraft dislodge its perch and truly send it plunging.
And then I felt like the Lord said, I keep the precious things secure.
These earrings were not “precious” and so at first I dismissed the phrase, not making a direct connection. But then the image of that earring hooked right at the joint of the two vent shafts kept coming to my mind: in spite of a slippery, downward slide, it had unexpectedly been held fast.
And that was the principle I felt like the Spirit wanted to address.
Of the sixty-seven results for “precious” in the New American Standard translation, the majority focus on material wealth, with both Testaments most often hooking together “precious” and “stones,” or with “precious wealth.”
What does the Word describe as appropriately “precious” to man? David sang, “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them!” (Psalm 139:17) Proverbs 3:15 describes Wisdom as “more precious than jewels”; Proverbs 12:27 states that “the precious possession of a man is diligence,” while Proverbs 20:15 states “the lips of knowledge are a more precious thing” than gold or jewels.
New Testament authors include a salvation-parallel from James that encourages the brethren to be like a farmer, who “waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains.” (James 5:7) Peter describes “the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable”; and teaches that our redemption was manifested “with precious blood, as of a lamb spotless and unblemished.” (I Peter 1:7, 1:19) Peter also points out that “His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature…” (2 Peter 1:3-4)
Mentally bookmark that Scripture as you continue on.
What does God call “precious”?
states, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones.” The Message states it this way: “When they arrive at the gates of death, God welcomes those who love Him.”
Peter teaches that our “coming to Him as to a living stone…is choice and precious in the sight of God…” (I Peter 2:4) He also quoted, “‘Behold I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, and he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.’ This precious value, then, is for you who believe…” (I Peter 2:6-7)
The apostle also describes that “the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit” is “precious in the sight of God.” (I Peter 3:4)
Let’s return to that mental bookmark, 2 Peter 1:3-4: “His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness…He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.”
And that, I think, is where the earring hangs on the downward slide and He holds His precious things in the joint of the ductwork: He will not renege on either His precious and magnificent promises, or back down from His design that we may become partakers of the divine nature.
He keeps the precious things secure.
He sends both the early and the late rains. And He waits –patiently, expectantly — for the precious produce that results. “Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.” (I Thess. 5:24)