Written by Rebecca Harness.

This summer, I went on a Club Beyond trip to Italy. There, on the final night, we were given ten minutes of silence on the beach. Naturally, I did not want the time to be void of a potential life-changing moment so I asked God to reveal something to me in the short time. He did.

I was standing on the beach watching the sky and the waves while letting the tide wash over my feet. That’s when I really started to notice the waves. They were small; only high enough to reach mid-calf yet they still crested as if they were large waves desired by professional surfers. Immediately in that moment, I couldn’t help but feel God was allowing me to see things from His enlarged perspective. I looked around and suddenly witnessed the scene in a different way. The beauty was so intense that I understood a glimpse of the real meaning when God created the world and said “it was good” in Genesis 1.

~Earlier on in the week, I had prayed that God would reveal to me the love He felt for others in hopes that my patience might be renewed.~

Next, I looked down in the waves and noticed something else beautiful: a shell. Quickly, I bent over to pick it up but a wave had shoved it out of my reach. Panic arose within me. After the bubbles dispersed, I saw it once again, more to the left of its original position. This time, I lunged and lifted it out of the water with pride. The shell was beautiful. Perfectly intact with a rusty hue, the orange reminded me of the color of my hair. Immediately the scene transformed from me staring at a shell on the beach to beholding myself from God’s eyes. Suddenly, the waves were a symbol of life pulling people this way and that and every time God would bend down to reveal Himself to one of us, we would allow our self to be swept up in our own situation finding our self further away from Him.

The next time I peered down, I saw shells of different colors all around and imagined them as my friends. They were all getting beaten around by their own personal waves. The next opportunity I had, I reached down as quickly as possible to attempt to rescue even one shell from its circumstance but it slipped through my fingers last second. Panic once again overtook me. I felt a fraction of the fear I imagine God feels when one of His loved ones dodges His very touch. But I did not give up and the next chance I got, I liberated a shell. Something was odd about it though; it looked remarkably similar to the one I imagined to be myself earlier. Instantaneously, the lesson that He loves us all equally, resonated.

The next thought I had was to put the shells safe in my pocket to remind myself of this valuable lesson daily. However, that didn’t seem right. I felt I had to give them back to the ocean. For at second glance, I realized that the waves, while appearing ripping and treacherous, now were something else after being touched by God.

                “His mercy flows in wave after wave on those who are in awe before Him.”

                 -Luke 1:50

So I threw the two shells deep into the ocean to spread the good news.

 

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