What makes the perfect seashell? Last week I enjoyed a morning stroll on the beach. Usually, that’s my husband’s routine; however, since his fall in March, long walks are still a trial. This vacation was a step into the unknown: How much would he be able to walk or enjoy the beach? Certainly, life has been altered in so many ways, even our ocean activities, and I want to take a moment to praise the Lord for my dear husband’s patient endurance. He’s a gem!
So, as I walked the beach, I looked for shells–perfect shell: the ones that are unbroken. And although they were small, I found plenty. However, after chatting with a fellow shell-gatherer—one who looked to be an expert—I started looking for unusual shells, even if they were broken. What a treasure trove! It makes me wonder about all the creatures that live in the sea! AND, I stand in awe at the incredibly limitless creativity of the Creator’s Hand!
So what is the perfect shell? Its size? No blemishes? Its unusual coloring? Imagine finding a huge conch shell, completely intact, beautifully colored—just sitting there on the sand, waiting for you to pick it up! How did it get there? Where did it come from?
Well, I’m no expert, but I do know that some sea creature gave up his home to give me that shell! Perhaps he did his part in the food chain! Then the current brought the shell to shore. Tossed over and over again on the ocean floor, it finally reached the end of its journey—amazingly, in one piece! What a rare find!
When that shell comes crashing down upon a rock by the force of water, it may break. We look at brokenness as a good thing and it is; however, it is the refined character that has been developed because of the God-given trials which becomes the rare treasure.
For a large shell to make it to shore in one piece is even more incredible. Year after year, the shell grows, housing its creature and avoiding any life-threatening crashes or the appetite of another sea creature. Then, for whatever the reason, the life is gone and the shell goes tumbling.
As a new member of the senior saints’ group, may I share an observation? Old age is not for wimps; in fact, we need to be preparing for our senior years all through life. I once read that a cantankerous young person will be a very cantankerous old person! Sadly, I often watch as older saints grumble and growl out their discontentment with this present evil world, wishing for the old days. I’ve even witnessed dear saints of God giving up on their churches and pastors over problems which they could have possibly rectified. I’m not talking about giving up doctrine or compromising, I’m talking about unsanctified reactions, and our age does not matter when we consider the following list in Proverbs 16:
These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
- A proud look – pride often reveals its ugly head as we grow older, especially if we’ve lived a lifetime taking the credit for those accomplishments which God has allowed us to have.
- A lying tongue – even the smallest falsehood is hateful to God, including the lies we tell ourselves.
- And hands that shed innocent blood – character assassination happens all the time!
- An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations – yikes! Just because we’re older and living in an empty nest does not give us the right to lower the standard for our eye-gate, which will in turn show up in our imaginations. Too often, our standard is set because of our children and not because of the desire to have ” a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.” (Acts 24:16)
- Feet that be swift in running to mischief – gossip? Our feet may not be as fast as they used to be, but our tongues never slow down!
- A false witness that speaketh lies – As a pastor’s wife, I’ve been amazed at the things that have been said against my husband, and I KNOW that the speaker is convinced that it is true. It’s that much sadder to me when it comes from an older saint who should have sown a more discerning character.
- He that soweth discord among brethren. This admonition is a constant reminder for me to keep my words kind. Couple them with Philippians 4:8, and you have a stage for successful speech at any age!
A rare shell – one that has withstood the tests of the sea and came to shore in one piece!
A rare find – a Christian who has withstood the tests of time and comes to that celestial shore with no regrets!
…just think of stepping on the shore and find heaven,
of touching a hand and finding it God’s,
of breathing new air and finding it celestial,
of waking up in glory and finding it home.
But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. Job 23:10