Broken seashells…

There are some things I just love about creation. I love to watch a good sunset. I like to get up before the sun and watch the sky change colors as it rises. I love to look up into a clear dark sky at night and see the stars and think of His promise to Abraham.

And I love seashells. The big ones. The tiny ones. All of them. They fascinate me. I have hundreds of them. One of my favorite things to do at the beach is to go down when the sun is barely up (and before all the other shellers get down there) and find treasure. Seashells.

My favorite shells are the broken ones. The ones that have been dashed against the rocks and coral and yet somehow made it to shore. And lucky for me, those are the ones that most people leave behind. Those are the ones that most people cast away. They want the whole ones. The ones that are pretty on the outside.

There are some things I just love about creation. I love to watch a good sunset. I like to get up before the sun and watch the sky change colors as it rises. I love to look up into a clear dark sky at night and see the stars and think of His promise to Abraham.

And I love seashells. The big ones. The tiny ones. All of them. They fascinate me. I have hundreds of them. One of my favorite things to do at the beach is to go down when the sun is barely up (and before all the other shellers get down there) and find treasure. Seashells.

My favorite shells are the broken ones. The ones that have been dashed against the rocks and coral and yet somehow made it to shore. And lucky for me, those are the ones that most people leave behind. Those are the ones that most people cast away. They want the whole ones. The ones that are pretty on the outside.

seashells

shell

But if you’ve never seen a broken shell, you’ve never seen the full beauty of a shell. If you’ve never seen a broken Tritan’s Trumpet shell, you’ve never seen the winding beauty of the core of the shell. If you’ve never seen a broken Cowry Shell, well, you’re missing out!

And I love the “broken shells” I see in the Bible…Abraham, Moses, Joseph (my favorite broken shell), David, and Paul. The ones who went through things that tried to break them apart while trying to follow God, and yet all it did was reveal the beauty inside. God was their beauty inside.

All of these men went through hardships and trials and horrible situations…and each of them made a choice to draw closer to God instead of farther away. They chose to trust Him through it….in spite of it….rather than let it steal their trust.

My guess is that almost ALL of us are that broken seashell. We’ve had things happen in our lives….happen to us and around us that affect us horribly…things that make us wonder why? And where was God?

I could answer eloquently with talk of living in a cursed world or we have an enemy, which would be true. But the truth is…there are some things we will never fully understand until we get to heaven. Why did He let these things happen?

We can’t change the past. It is over and done. But we can change how we let the past affect our today. We can choose to run to God and trust Him instead of running away from Him.

We can choose, like a broken seashell, to show the beauty on the inside. To choose the perspective of the Apostle Paul here:

We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. (2 Corinthians 4:7-10)

Paul didn’t ask why those things (which he calls light afflictions in this chapter) happened to him. He didn’t just “Woe is me” the rest of his life. He chose to trust and let it go and let the life of Jesus be seen in his body through it.

No matter what has happened to us, God wants to heal it and let His light show to the world. He uses our bruises. And power comes after pain. God wants to heal you and use your brokenness, but you have to let him. It’s a choice.

“But it’s so hard! I can’t stop thinking about it! I can’t help how I feel!” Sound familiar? That’s what most people say.

It is hard, but it’s not impossible. You have full control over your thoughts, and you can direct your emotions. How?

So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. (2 Corinthians 4:17)

Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus. (Hebrews 12:2)

It’s okay to be the broken seashell. We’ve all gone through the stuff of life. We all have scars. Jesus has scars. And one of the first things He did when He rose again was show everyone His scars. His scars heal and bring life.

And you’ll be surprised how your scars will heal and bring life to those around you when you let His light and healing shine through the brokenness.

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