Remember that little shell that we found on the beach in December? I remember looking closely at that tiny perfectly formed shell all alone on that dark beach and thinking how amazing it was that it was still in one piece.
I think I was mesmerized by that shell because it reminded me of myself. The journey has been a long one. Much of this journey I have felt like that little shell. It seems like one minute I am floating and see sunlight only to be overtaken by yet another tumultuous wave and pushed down into the darkness. There have been times when I thought the seaweed would succeed in choking the life out of me. At times I thought it would just be easier to give in to the waves and just let them win.
But I find myself lying on the shore much like that little shell. The waves continue to wash over me but without the force that they had when I was out in the depths. They don't have the ability to toss me to and fro as they once did because for now I am nestled in the sand. Although I feel the strength of their current, the sand will not allow me to be carried out for I am being held.
Although the confusion of being swept about among the waves has ended, I still find myself alone in the darkness. The darkness of the beach is welcomed after the uncertainty of the waves, but I find myself wishing for light.
And then I see You looking down at me. Only a dim ray of light shines on me through the darkness just like that night on the beach when we found that tiny shell with the flashlight on a cell phone. It amazes me that we found it there on the dark beach with such a small light. Almost as much as it amazes me to see You peering at me through the darkness just to let me know that You see me.
God, I lay here in the darkness wondering when the light of Your plan will come. Right now I lay here trying to take it all in and process what You must want from me. You have revealed so much to me this week that I feel overwhelmed. This world I live in is such a terrible and cruel place. Evil seems to prevail in a world where You remain in control. It's so hard for a human brain to comprehend- especially the brain of a Jesus girl.
And yet you call me to walk into the depths of the darkness willingly. You ask me to go counter to this culture in which I live and take a stand. You ask me to get up off this beach and be willing to run headlong into the ocean into depths above my head knowing all the time that I can't swim, but knowing that I need only to trust you fully.
God, this is bigger than me, but it isn't bigger than you. You're sending me into what the world says is impossible territory, and yet I know that impossible doesn't exist with You. God, part of me is afraid. Sometimes amid those waves being tossed violently in the darkness, I can barely breathe. Sometimes it gets so dark there, I can barely see Your light or hear Your voice. That is what scares me the most.
And so I stand here on the shore, listening to the crashing of the waves amid the darkness countered only by the light of a few stars. You call to me to enter the depths - to trust that You will prevent me from drowning. At first I am overcome by the memories of the waves, the darkness of the depths, and the pressure of the water against my chest. And then I look at that tiny shell. No one but You and that shell know where it came from. We will never know the distances that it had to travel or the depths of the waves that tossed it to and fro on its journey. No one can know the currents it withstood or the dangers to its being that it encountered. But I can tell one thing about this tiny shell as I hold it in the palm of my hand...it is unharmed.
That little shell may have been pressed upon by a weight it shouldn't have been able to withstand. It may have been thrust into the darkest depths of the ocean. It may have traveled for days in sheer darkness, yet I hold in my hand what appears to be a perfect shell because it was protected by Someone larger than it. The God who created the universe is not threatened by height or depth. The winds and the waves obey Him. He can protect the tiniest of shells until He brings it to rest on shore.
It's funny how this tiny shell makes me want to run into the water. I am amazed by its beauty even though it is tiny. God, teach me not to fear the waves. Show me that there is nowhere that I can go that You won't be beside me. Teach me to crave the deepest places and how to swim against the current. Show me the beauty of a life fully trusting in You.