As I placed the title on my new release, The Promise, I thought about its deeper meaning. Primarily, the title refers to the ultimate promise— salvation in Christ and the assurance that He will be with us always as written in Matthew 28:20. I have spent some time thinking about some of the precious promises in the Scriptures, and I can’t help but think of the rainbow and its promise in Genesis 9. God places the rainbow in the sky to seal His covenant with the people that He will never again send a flood to destroy the earth and all living creatures. His promise is a covenant, something that can never be revoked and will stand in place for eternity.
Within the context of my book, the theme of the promise takes on many different forms. There is reference to expectation, commitment, guarantee, measure of hope, undeniable truth, and assurance. The characters make promises to each other; some are kept and honored while others are thrown away. But ultimately exists Christ’s promise of eternal life for anyone who welcomes Him in.
I decided to dig a little deeper into the idea of “the promise.” What does it mean? Well, dictionary.com defines “promise” as:
1. a declaration that something will or will not be done, given, etc., by one: unkept political promises.
2. an express assurance on which expectation is to be based: promises that an enemy will not win.
3. something that has the effect of an express assurance; indication of what may be expected.
4. indication of future excellence or achievement: a writer who shows promise.
5. something that is promised.
“Promise” has Middle English and Medieval Latin roots and is a word that carries a great deal of deeper meaning. Too often, I think we trivialize the concept of “promise.” When I was a child, I can often remember saying to one of my sisters: “I promise I won’t tell on you.” Then two minutes later I would run to one of my parents and tattle on her. In adulthood, I have committed to do something, only to forget I had made the agreement later. I have also been on the receiving end of broken promises: altered agreements for work, projects fully completed on my part but not rewarded or compensated upon completion, or a person neglecting to offer help when they had earlier committed to do so. Some people, businesses, and organizations do not maintain a high standard when it comes to fulfilling their word, and that saddens me. I try not to hold these broken promises against such parties, but often it is hard to move on, forgive, and forget.
At times like these, I look to Christ’s promises and His unconditional forgiveness. He has promised to never leave or forsake me, and He has blessed me with salvation in Him and a hope to face tomorrow. In turn, I feel it is only fitting that I offer myself as a servant to others. I am fallible and human, but I seek to do everything in my power to fulfill my word to those who come to me for assistance. If I say I will do it, I will come through for you. If I can’t fulfill your expectations, I will go out of my way to make amends to the best of my ability. Often, I cannot make things right in my own strength, but I know God will be beside me all the way.
He has promised to be with us no matter what, and if there is anything I can promise you without a doubt, it is this: He is the Promise Maker, Promise Keeper, and Promise Fulfiller.