Thursday, June 17, 2010

Treasures in the Sand

The quiet breeze blew gently, softly mingling with the light of the sun, rays reflected hues of gold and bronze on their long locks.  Little giggles echoed as they walked and talked...sharing...dreaming of what they might find on their big adventure.

Pails in hand, eagerly they skipped across the moist sand, only pausing on occasion to look with wonder at the wide expanse surrounding them, stopping to smell the fresh salty air, or pausing to sink their toes into the wet gooey sand beneath their feet.  As one would find a possible treasure nestled safely in the sand, an urgent call was made to the other to come, quickly, so as not to miss the joy of seeing the treasure before them. Together as sisters, as companions, they bent down to inspect each shell, slowly picking them up to place them gently into one of the pails. 

As the sun marked the hours passing in the sky, the pails began to fill up with beautiful remnants, most of which had been washed in from the powerful sea.  You could almost feel them holding their breath, hearts beating, standing in awe of the wonderful sites before them.  Some of the treasures were broken, scattered across the sand, but valuable to the girls nonetheless.  Others were still perfectly formed, but still showed the ware and tear of the strong waves which had beaten up against them.  Still others shells contained living creatures such as a hermit crab or whelk.  Lovingly, the girls would pick them up and toss them back into the sea, maybe uttering a silent prayer for safety and protection against the waves that still churned upon the beach before their view...for they understood that the treasure of these creatures was found in setting them free.

With pails nearly overflowing, the girls sprinted back to where I stood, eager to share what they had found on their adventure on the beach that day.  One by one, shells were gently lifted out of each pail, carefully, so as not to damage a single one in any way.  The girls, placing them all in a line, admired them, rejoicing in each one being found, looked up at me with eyes wide with excitement. 
"We found so many treasures, Momma.  Aren't they all so beautiful?"
 Along with my girls, I am certain that my face radiated with excitement and joy too, for at that moment, I realized something profound yet wonderful.  The Lord rejoices over us too.  Whether we are battered and broken by the waves, eroded by the friction of the sand, or whether only scattered remnants of us remain.  If we are His children, He treasures us!

As Christians, we have such a difficult time believing that God could possibly delight in us.  At least I do!  But there is a verse found in Zephaniah 3:17 that has been such a huge encouragement to me that I would like to share with you too:
"The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing."
On occasion, my girls still pull out the box of treasures they collected on the beach that day.  They gleefully share fond memories of time spent together as sisters, searching for treasures to fill their pails; treasures buried beneath the moist sand, waiting to be found.  From the next room, I can hear giggling and chatting.  As I peak in, I smile.  Once again, they are gently placing each shell in a line, delighting in them with the same excitement  and joy as they had done on the day of the big adventure on the beach.

This day, may you be more aware of how God delights over you as His child.  
      Shhhh!  Listen... you just might hear Him singing!

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