I gave gold for iron
During his reign, King Frederick William III of Prussia found himself in a bind. Wars had been costly, and in trying to build the nation, he was seriously short of finances. After careful reflection, he decided to ask the women of Prussia if they would bring their jewelry of gold and silver to be melted down for their country. Each piece of jewelry he received, he would exchange for a decoration of bronze or iron as a symbol of his gratitude. These decorations would be inscribed,
'I gave gold for iron, 1813'.
The response was overwhelming. But more importantly, the women prized these gifts from the king even more highly than their former jewelry! The reason, of course, is clear. They were proof that they had sacrificed for their king.
This was the beginning to the devotion that my teacher posted today. I read it tonight when work was winding down and I had some quiet time to myself. I had been brooding all day about Courtney and the mess we've found ourselves in lately. I have been so sad and withdrawn from her, and she just doesn't get it. She has no concept of loyalty, truth, honesty, loyalty--none of it. She can come in all happy-go-lucky after she just spewed the vilest filthy lies about me to people that I love and try to hug and kiss me as if nothing has happened. I don't understand that. I am hard-wired to be loyal to a fault and have an over-achieving conscience.
After she showed up to get her computer today, Scott said the words that kept echoing in my ears all day long--"I thought she'd be back by now." Yeah, me too I said solemnly. But she's not back--she's the opposite of back. She's gone. I'm so sad about that. I don't care what filth their father ever has the nerve to tell them--the truth is that I have invested blood, sweat, tears and sleepless nights into these children. They came from me. I nurtured them day and night. I would cradle them in my arms and sing them songs. I would say, "who loves you babe?" And they'd reply "You! And Jesus!" I taught them to sing "Jesus Loves Me" and the itsy bitsy spider. I sat for hours and hours reading the book "WHO SAYS QUACK?" with them--and making all the animal noises. I walked her to school on her first days. I've been with her for every one of her firsts. I was creating my little woman...and now SHE'S GONE!!! How many tears need to be cried to convey the pain of that statement???
Do they now, or will they ever understand the pain of that statement? Is this how my mother felt? Did I give her this kind of heart-wrenching pain that made her question what it was all for? I did all the hardwork and now she gets to gallavant off and have fun times with the dad who has never been a dad to her. Will she ever know what I sacrificed? Does she not think that I ever wanted to do something wild, stupid and irresponsible with my friends when I was young,but I didn't because I had babies needing me at home. I wanted to sleep in every Sunday morning, but made sure they went to church, and all four of my children got saved early.
So over and over in my head this kept playing all day--and then God sent me this quote. The very words that got me were: "I gave gold for iron". When I read that, God grabbed me. He spoke to my heart saying that my children might not be aware of the sacrifices I have made for them, BUT HE IS. He knows of the countless things I've done and the millions of prayers that have been prayed. God knows my heart and how much it aches for my babies when they are away from me. And he also sees what I have gotten back so far....which isn't much besides some heartache. He sees that I have given gold for iron. The thing is that the quote went on to say that the women were thrilled with the sacrifices they were making because in the end it was to help and honor their King.
As I've said, my kids may not know--but my King knows. And he is the one to bring restoration to my soul. I trust you Lord and I love you. Thank you for loving me in spite of my unfaithful, disloyal heart. Please accept my gold for the scraps of iron I will get back in return and use it to love my children and raise them up to what they should be in you.