“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you”—Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV).
Can you recall making a pinky promise with your best friend on the school playground? Maybe you promised to always be friends wherever life led you? Intertwining your pinky finger with your BFF, you made, what you thought, was a forever pact.
But life happens. One of you moved away. Or maybe life just got in the way as you grew up and your lives took different directions. Whatever the situation, that childhood vow, forgotten as you added another candle to your birthday cake, was filled with hope.
According to research, the “pinky promise” originated in Japan where it is known as “yubikiri,” which means “finger cut-off.” In that country, the person who broke their promise faced having a pinky finger cut off. Ouch!
The Pain of Broken Promises
In modern times, pinky swearing is a more informal way of sealing a promise. In the U.S., the tradition has existed since at least 1860. Pinky promises between friends signify an oath, never to be broken.
Could you imagine, however, if every time you broke a “pinky promise,” you had to cut off your pinky? Eventually, pinkies would become extinct. However, if you break a “pinky promise” with your best friend, cutting off your pinky would be the least of your concerns. Pinky promises are a binding foundation of trust.
Trust is the key to a lasting relationship with anyone, pinky swear or not. It’s the glue that holds everything together. When trust is broken, friendships dissolve.
A Binding Foundation of Trust
When David was running from Saul, he called out to, and placed his trust in God—a trust built on a firm foundation and a belief in God’s promises. In Psalm 59:9-10, David writes, “I keep looking for you, my strength, because God is my stronghold. My loving God will come to meet me. God will allow me to look down on my enemies” (CEB).
Trusting God doesn’t come easy for us. Wanting to control our own lives, we’re afraid to let go and let God. It requires us to walk in faith, knowing He has our best interests at heart.
Our relationship with God and the trust we build in Him is shaped by our response to His promises. When we learn these promises are the answer to despair, we can walk in faith, believing without a doubt, He hears our cries.
Walking in Faith
What does it mean to walk in faith? 2 Corinthians 5:7 says, “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (NRSV).
Seems simple, doesn’t it? But living it is a tougher assignment, requiring courage, strength, and a willingness to give up any pretense of control in our lives.
What did Paul mean by “not living by sight,” in this verse? Simply put, even though Jesus is not physically present with us, we have His promises to lean on.
Leaning on God’s Promises
God’s promises don’t rely on us and a casual intertwining of our pinkies. God always keeps His promises. Although people are fallible and don’t always keep their promises, God never fails to keep His covenants with us.
According to Bible Gateway, there are 5,467 divine promises found in scripture. God’s promises reveal His eternal purposes for us, and He is immutably committed to them. We can always depend on those promises. However, they are conditional upon our obedience as God’s children.
For even when we disappoint our Heavenly Father, He doesn’t give up on us. Instead, He reaches down, takes us by the hand and gently leads us back on the path of righteousness.
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