Recently our family took our annual summer beach vacation. It’s been a tradition in our family for many years and we always look forward to it.
One thing I can count on and thats God to give me a reminder or a lesson that I need in my life at that exact time. God is faithful and like a Father loves his children, God knows what we need and when we need it.
One day we were out on the beach enjoying the scorching July heat in Florida. You know what to expect in Florida in July and August….really hot! It was a beautiful day and the water was calm and the waves were at a minimum. I was walking in the shallow water looking for some nice shells to pickup. Matthew, my 10 year old, was curious as to what I was doing. So I told him I was picking up seashells. He joined me for a few minutes and I explained to him what to look for. I told him that I look for the shells that are not broken or messed up. We walked along the beach shoreline a little longer and I said it to him again. “I only like to keep the shells that are whole and not broken.” Instantly God reminded me how that sounded and what he thought of us. It sounded so ugly coming out of my mouth and tying it into the lesson God wanted to teach me that day.
God reminded me our world we live in has a different expectation than he does. Culture embraces looking good on the outside and not displaying any kind of brokeness. The exact opposite of what God values and loves! God loves us and takes the brokeness in our lives and uses it to draw us near to him. He loves taking flawed sinners like each one of us and takes delight in healing us and making us whole. Psalm 147:3 says “he heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.” God never throws us back into the ocean because we don’t look good. He picks us up, broken and battered, loves us and reminds us that He sent his one and only Son, Jesus to die on the cross for us (John 3:16).
It was a short, quick lesson that would leave a permanent impression on me and how I felt about broken sea shells. I thank God that he took a broken, messed up person like myself and made me whole in Christ. He gave me a new life, a new identity, a different outlook on life. God wants to do the same thing in your life today if you will let him!