I was thumbing through an old issue of Mental Floss magazine the other day and saw, on page 15, a business letter from H. Wilsdorf to Capt. C.J.Nutting. My attention was attracted to it first because of the date – March 30,1943 – which was my mother’s 1st birthday. Then I saw that Captain Nutting was residing at “Gef. Nr.738, Stalag Luft 3.” Captain Nutting was a prisoner of war.
The note was a response to a letter Nutting sent on March 10 informing the Rolex company that his watch, a Chronograph Oyster No. 122, had been taken by his captors, and he would need to replace it. Hans Wilsdorf, a German expatriate living in Geneva was the founder of Rolex. At the time Rolex watches were virtually unknown in the States, but British airmen almost universally wore them because of their accuracy. This became known to American pilots, who brought the brand back with them after the war, and today Rolex is not just the symbol of excellence in timekeeping, but is an icon of excellence generally.
In the note Wilsdorf personally promised to replace the watch at no cost to Captain Nutting. It was the policy of Rolex to guarantee to British airmen that any watch confiscated by German captors would be replaced at no cost. The guarantee was meant to be more than just a promise of replacement. It was supposed to communicate confidence that the allies would ultimately prevail – that things would one day be back to normal. The guarantee was received as such.
We are at war (Ephesians 6.10-20, II Corinthians 10.1-6). We have been given guarantees. We have been guaranteed victory (Romans 8.37, Revelation 3.20). We have been guaranteed an inheritance that cannot be defiled, despoiled, or confiscated (I Peter 1.3-9). We are guaranteed that during the battle we will receive provision, leadership, and protection (Matthew 28.20, II Peter 1.3, Psalm 23).
We have been given an earnest of these guarantees. We have it written down, ink-on-paper. We have the Word of God. And we have more:
In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we take possession of it, to the praise of His glory. (Ephesians 1.13-14)
He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
(II Corinthians 5.5)
When we are baptized we are promised forgiveness and the Holy Spirit (Acts 2.38). He (the Spirit) is described as doing so many things in the New Testament: helping us to pray (Romans 8.26), fostering unity (Ephesians 4.3), doing all that is associated with our sanctification (I Peter 1.2). Paul, in the passages above asserts that when we experience the work of the Spirit, we are reminded of our guarantee – in fact He IS the guarantee of all God has promised.
And so we are reminded to not loose heart. We are reminded that this is all temporary, that victory is assured, and that no one can take these truths away from us.
It is all guaranteed.