Salty air, smooth pressed sand that sparkles in the sun, crashing waves, and a gentle breeze cooling our sun-kissed faces the beach is our family’s happy place. Growing up my family traveled to Hilton Head Island many summers for vacation and now Greg and I are blessed to be able to carry on that tradition with our children. While at the beach, time seems to pass more slowly, laughter is louder, God’s awesome craftsmanship can be admired everywhere, and memories are plentiful. We love our time together at the beach. The kids love combing the beach for treasures and creatures on our long early morning walks.
A couple of summers ago, Lily, who was just three at the time, really took an interest in collecting seashells. She would spend forever in tide pools sifting through sand to find the perfect shells. Greg and I would find pretty shells and offer them to her for her collection. She would kindly say “no thanks” and then bring us a jagged, broken piece of a shell. “Isn’t it beautiful?!” she would say with excitement. We couldn’t figure it out. Why did she like the broken pieces so much? What did she see in them?
By the end of the trip, we had a sand pail filled with shell pieces. Lily taught us a valuable lesson that summer that I will never forget.
Like Lily, God does not choose to love, bless, and anoint those who are seemly perfect, whole, and beautiful. He takes delight in seeking, loving, and calling those who are flawed and maybe even broken. Throughout the pages of the Bible, God chooses and uses individuals who may not have been seen as model citizens. If you are in a place of feeling like you are not enough, please be assured that you are made more than enough with the one who created you. He adores you, desires a relationship with you, and has a plan to use you to expand His kingdom. In your imperfection, God will work and bring about beauty.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me… For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Can you just imagine God sifting through shells just to pick out the broken pieces as He looks at them with desire and affection? I am so grateful for a God who strengthens us in times of weakness and uses us when we feel weak and the least equipped and qualified. We now have many of those broken, but lovely shell pieces displayed in a vase in our home. It is a reminder that He loves and chooses us just as we are.
“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.” Ephesians 1:4