When I was a kid, I used to spend hours with my Grandma walking the beach. We’d search for shells. We had our favourites. We’d make huge sand castles and decorate them with the ornate selection of treasure we’d collected.
It was a rich time because it met all my love languages. Quality time, words of affirmation, giving gifts and emotional connection.
It’s been years since our precious beach has had the assortment of shells I remember we had as youngsters.
Years of Christmas holidays at Inverloch had come and gone-and we had arrived at 2017.
Walking the beach with some precious friends, we began to find shells. They increased as we walked up the beach. In fact the shells became so thick, that there were more shells than soft white sand.
The selection was incredible!
The colours vibrant.
The complete shells, unbroken ones had increased to the greatest number in decades-that I remember.
I asked God this morning about it…..this is how He responded.
“Do you remember the joy of times gone by my child?
These shells represent what I am restoring to you.
The things that have been hidden or stolen from you, will be returned in abundance to you. You will gaze at the wonder of my goodness to you-as you realise what I am revealing through this to you.”
He gave me a picture a few days afterwards that was simple, pure and lovely.
A small sailing boat out on the water. In the middle of the ocean.
Look to the North – water
Look to the South – water
Look to the East and West – water
No land in sight.
This idea humanly speaking would make me feel quite scared. One of my fear situations had actually been that very thing, floating in a boat out on the water, without any land in sight. In this place as I sat in the image of the boat and boundary-less ocean – all I felt was peace…complete peace.
He said “the expanse of the ocean that you see, is how much I love you“.
I sat in AWE of trying to feel the weight of God’s love for me and some fresh new promises to walk forward with.
In this experience I was encouraged by the fact, that we are but a moment away from something shifting, something changing…..so many bible stories reflect this God truth.
Esther fearing for her life one moment, emboldened the next and then redemption.
Prodigal son realises in a moment that he could be eating well as his Father’s servant, rather than staying with the pigs and starving.
Is. 43:19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou for your LOVE. Your wide, deep, high expanse of limitless love for me.
Thankyou that the things I see with my eyes are often momentary…the things I feel with my heart are but for a moment.
Help me to appreciate both challenge and joy filled moments, that I might dance through both and continue to praise you regardless.
Thankyou for blessing me and my heart with many, many shells this past summer. You have given me the gift of precious pasts, delight filled presents and exciting futures with a simple message through shells.
It makes me laugh that such simple things can be used to speak to me in such HUGE ways.
Please bless others reading this, that they too might know you are ever so close to them….closer than their breath,
That the very things that seem like stumbling blocks and walls, with you Father become stepping stones to the abundance of rainbow promises just over those same fences.
Father, that peace you gave me with the picture of the sailboat….could you please give that to this reader right now….Father expand your peace in their circumstances, emotion and lives.
We declare afresh our trust in you to work powerfully to turn unredeemed situations around.
We hand over all others that we have been carrying loads from and release them as an act of trust in your ability to work it out.
We reach out our hands as a sign of complete abandon….thanking you will all that we are able.
Knowing that what we see, feel, taste and touch only lasts a moment, and the depths are often turned to mountain peaks at the first note of your command.
Thankyou Father that you see our lives and know beforehand exactly what we need to draw us closer to you.
Precious Father….I love you….thankyou for loving me…..help me to learn how to begin to love you back. Thankyou for loving me first.