Saturday, June 24, 2006

Sea Glass

This was a devo written for our church this week...

Sea glass begins as a glass object thrown carelessly in the ocean. The glass fragments are tumbled by water and sand into muted gems. Over time, after repeated loops in the tides and surf, the jagged edges are rubbed off and the glass, now translucent from their many sandings, seem to glow on their own.

Like many of you, I managed to put my life into many jagged pieces in my early 20s. In the deepest, most broken time of my life, I did one thing right… I turned my life over to God. Sort of. You see, I tried to put my life back together on my own. (And if you have ever tried to glue glass, you know that doesn’t work so well.) Why did I attempt to “heal myself”? I felt unable to be loved by God. I was sure He didn’t really love me as I was. Not really. I wasn’t confident that I could “do” this “Christian life” that everyone had assured me was there for the taking. Especially when I had gotten used to picking the glass shards out of my way and, well, surviving. And I also didn’t “feel” very forgiven.

Two things helped me change my perspective. First, I came to understand that Christ’s forgiveness of my sins is not based on my feelings. It is based on the FACTS of who Jesus is: that He is the Son of God, that He died and rose again and took my sins away on the cross. My response is one of FAITH: I had to accept the facts and believe that Jesus died for my sins. Tagging along like a caboose to FACTS and FAITH are my FEELINGS. Whether or not I remember it, or feel like it is true, I am forgiven.

The second thing that helped me was realizing that when I allowed God into my brokenness, He made something beautiful out of it. What had been a very angry, brittle person became someone who was softer and more beautiful, just like the sea glass. When I was rough and shattered, God’s love patiently refined and changed me over many seasons and tidal changes. Where I felt I only had one “use” in life, God took the pieces and multiplied my life story into many different ways of serving Him! I would never have imagined it on my own.

God can change you, even when you believe that you can’t change. You think that you are unhappy because you can’t do what you want to do, or that you aren’t given the honor, prestige or wealth that you seek. Your feelings want you to live a lie – remember the FACTS!

Spend time today thanking God for the gift of His Son. Remember our time of Communion on Sunday morning and reflect on the meaning of the Bread and the Cup. Pray for little “sea glass” reminders of His Hand in your life, and for patience as He continues to smooth out your rough edges (and mine, too!)

Lord, thank You for my rough edges and for the ways I fail. Help me to see the power of Your love changing me, and making me more like You. Amen.

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