My family and I had the privilege this week to breathe in the ocean breeze each morning as we welcomed the day that lie ahead. While we love our reality and are grateful for our many blessings that await us at home in the mountains, there is nothing like being able to leave a certain amount of responsibility behind and just enjoy being together every waking moment. We take delight in the days we are able to embrace this part of God’s creation that normally only entices us through pictures and memories.
One of our favorite things to do while at the beach is to walk in the early morning looking for seashell treasures. My favorite ones are the smooth ones that have a translucent appearance. Our daughter rejoices to find one that has twists and turns called a conch shell. My favorite part of this experience is when she finds one that is beautiful and just gasps with excitement shouting, “Look, Mommy!”
During one of our walks this week, I started to think about all of the broken shells on the beach. Sometimes one that is half buried looks beautiful until we bend down to dig it up just to find the other side has flaws. We toss those back to the sand and move on to look for the perfect, whole shells.
This caused me to think about the journey a shell goes through. A journey that likely begins in the deep places of the ocean, leads to the husk getting tossed and thrown about in the waves, and then finally washes it onto shore temporarily only until the tide thrusts the shell back out to sea. I suddenly started thinking about how we are so much like those broken shells. Our lives begin and we are quickly tossed and thrown about in this world. Sometimes this journey is smooth and peaceful just like a calm, evening tide and our day to day is nothing less than beautiful. Other times life feels similar to the rough, ocean waves as a storm rolls in and we are left desperately trying to come up for air. The good news? God doesn’t toss us back down in the sand when we are broken. Psalm 40:2 states, “He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire, he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand,” (NIV)
Those broken shells will never be pieced back together and made whole. Praise the Lord the same is not true for us. 1 Thessalonians 5:23, “May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, put you together – spirit, soul, and body – and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ.” (MSG). Sweet gals, if you are feeling broken today, trust that God is ready to make you whole. 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here!” (NIV) Did you hear that? You are new…whole…and set apart because of Christ who lives in you. The next time you have a chance, pick up one of those ‘less than perfect’ shells and put it in your pocket as a reminder of the beauty He makes from the broken.