As Dave and I were eating breakfast this morning, we commented on today being the 95th birthday of Queen Elizabeth, less than a week after the funeral of Prince Philip. Ten years before I was born, on her 21st birthday, this remarkable woman gave a speech that we all remember on this day:
“I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II) April 21, 1947
It’s hard to realize how young she was at the time, and yet the promise she made was one she continues to keep to this day. How many of us can say the same? It made me think about the promises we make, and how they really aren’t promises at all. “I’ll pray for you,” seems to be something we say when we don’t know what else to say. When we say we’ll pray for someone, let’s pray, and keep praying. “I’m here for you” is another. Yet how many times are we too tired or too busy when the person really needs to talk to us?
The promises that matter are the little promises we make to the people in our lives, both friends and family. But sometimes, we need to realize that we can’t promise something, rather than make an impossible commitment that we know we won’t be able to honour. Often, we promise to do something that is beyond our ability, which is an impossible promise to keep. It seems easier in the short term to make a promise than to admit we cannot do it.
The most important promises, our marriage vows, seem to fade into the distance with the realities of day to day life. I would love to see every couple privately repeat their vows yearly on their anniversary, and celebrate milestone anniversaries with a formal vow renewal.
Proverbs 31 women, let’s become known for making promises we can keep, and keeping the promises we make. After all Jesus kept His promise to us when He said, “I am with you always.” (Matthew 28:20)