Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Beach (07/04/05)
How much time has passed since then, so many triumphs and heartaches, grand plans and wrenching disappointments. Life. Like the waves, pounding and churning, never ceasing to do the work that the Lord has ordained in forming the coastlines of our personalities, and the resilience of our character.
The sand feels so familiar on the bottoms of my feet, and the smell of the salt air so natural that I canít imagine any distance between this beach and myself, no matter how great or how far, could ever make me forget how much I love it, and how deep a part of me it has always been. Distance, however, does make me forget, and dulls the importance this strip of rocks and sand and sea, until I barely remember it at all.
Suddenly I find myself strolling the edges of my past, my mind flooding with memories, remembrances of people, family, dreams, and promises, and hope. How did I travel so far from the beach, the rock and foundation of my life?
I am older now, much older, and I again find myself standing alone on my old friend. Gazing up and down the shoreline, and feeling the warmth of the sun, and the chill of a winterís storm, hearing the laughter of children throwing themselves at the rolling hills of water challenging them to once again cover their heads and carry them back to the shore, and of course the solitude of being absolutely by yourself staring into the endless horizon where the sky kisses the ocean below, and the window of eternity makes itself known in our small fragile world.
As I reflect over the way God has allowed the waves of experience to break down the rocky cliffs that formed the wall of separation in my heart, and turn it slowly into a pliable, soft, and sandy beach where others were welcome to trod and find rest for their souls, I see the wisdom of His plan, and the loving compassion in His heart even to know what tribulation might be necessary to conform me into His image, that His love may flow through me and bless others.
My life was never my own really, my plans were not His plans, and if I were to be valuable to His kingdom purposes, a jar crafted for noble use, then I must yield my will to His, and trust Him to send just the right number and intensity of waves, to form the shoreline of my life into a deep water port, and to turn my heart into a lighthouse that guides those who are drowning in troubled waters to the safety of solid ground.
As I consider the beach, and the lessons of my life, I see the Creator of both, who makes all things beautiful to behold, when they are molded over time by His masterful hands, guided by His wisdom, and forever changed by His enduring love.
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