On my trip to Myrtle Beach last week, I had a lot of down time walking the beaches, sitting near the ocean and pondering God's Glory. I love collecting shells when I walk along the beach. I am always looking for that perfect beautiful shell. I pick them up thinking they are "the one" only to get them home and find their flaws. It got me thinking about how much our Christian walk is like that of the seashell.
On the outside, we look shining and pretty at times. But no one knows the inner sufferings or turmoil that each of us must face on a day to day basis. We look at others and think their life is perfect and blessed. Then upon closer inspection we see the pitfalls they face every day. Like the shell that has been battered and beaten until its life is full of holes and scars.
Sometimes we feel like the shell that has been in the ocean so long that the wear and tear of daily life has just taken such a toll on us that we feel like we are deeply gouged and sometimes wonder how we can take much more.
God makes us all like the seashell. We are tough and solid, but we must face the waves and battle the storms that toss us around on the ocean of life.
At times, we may have smooth sailing and things may be feeling better than other times, but we still know that our life is on shifting sand and can change with the tides.
But unlike the shell who withers in the storm tossed sea and ends up gracing the bathroom shelf in a jar in someone's home, we can withstand the test of time with God's love, His grace and His mercy. We can take the washing of the waves of life and the battering of the stormy sees. We know we serve a God who is strong, powerful, loving and forgiving. Even though He lets us get washed ashore sometimes, it is in those moments that He is restoring us to serve Him and receive His blessings.
So did I find the perfect shell? Not in cosmetic looks, no I didn't. But I did find that each shell was beautiful in its own way because it showed me that God is forever and always and though we may be battered against the storms of life, He will always be there to gently lift us up and place us safely on the shore.