The forgotten purse

by Marilyn Mathis

It was picture day! Not at school, but at a professional photographer in Downtown Conway. I was 7 years old and very excited. Having my picture taken by a professional was not something that happened very often. Pictures were taken at home or school.

I don’t remember why I was having this picture made, but I do remember what happened before we got to the studio. We made a stop at Sterling’s, a variety store on Front Street. Mother had dressed me in a new blue dress with a wide white collar. My hair, never my best feature, was in two braids. Mother wanted blue ribbons to tie on each braid. At the store, she selected a blue ribbon that matched my dress. The clerk cut the ribbon in two pieces, one for each braid. Mother reached for her purse to pay for the ribbon and realized she had left it at home. Cut ribbons! No money! Appointment time fast approaching!

My mother looked at me and said, “Stay here while I go home and get my purse.” There I stood with two blue ribbons and a clerk waiting for payment. I don’t remember any fear of being left alone in the store. This was 1949 and Conway was a small town and a very safe place. True to her word, my mother returned to the store, paid for the ribbon and reclaimed her daughter. I have that picture of me with the blue dress and blue ribbons. It is a picture that only a mother could love.

Faithful to her word! What she said she would do, she did on that memorable day. Did my mother always keep her word? No, because she was only human. Humans aren’t perfect and often fail to keep their promises. But God never fails to keep His word. What He says He will do, He does!

1 Timothy 2:13 says, “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” Over and over in the Bible we read of God’s faithfulness to keep His word. God promised Abraham a son through whom a great nation would grow, but Abraham was 100 years old, and Sarah, his wife, was 90 (Genesis 17:17-18). They waited and God answered. He kept His word.

An old hymn reminds us:

“Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His word,
Just to rest upon His promise,
Just to know, ‘Thus saith the Lord.’” 

To trust Him and take Him at His word, you must know what He has said. Let me share just a few of the promises I love.

“He (God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (11 Corinthians 5:21). God promises a right relationship with Him through the work of His Son on the cross.

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful” (John 14:27). God promises a peace that the world can’t give or take away.

“Casting all your anxiety on Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). His declaration of love and care for us. Do you feel unloved? February is the month of love, but some of us feel unloved and lonely. God loves you.

“I will never leave you, nor will I ever forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). God promises to always be available.

“Though I walk in the midst of trouble . . . the LORD will accomplish what concerns me” (Psalm 138:7,8). God’s promise to always be at work for our good and His glory.

“Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21). He is able to do what He says! “Nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37).

Are you trusting in Jesus? Are you taking Him at His word? Are you resting on His promises? What is God saying that you need to hear?

In His love and mine.