Jill Jarrell Newsome
When we left for vacation in Sanibel Island, Florida, my one request was we just stay on the beach or in the water. The first two days I spent either in the water or looking for shells. At first all I saw were lots of little purple shells. Immediately I thought of two very special people in my life who love purple. I decided right then I would pick up shells for them and pray for them as I did. I go to the ocean to lose my mind and find my soul.
I did make reservations to go on a shelling tour to the 10,000 islands near Marco Island. Mike and I were blown away at the beautiful shells we saw. I had heard that I would find a lot so I was prepared by bringing a carry on hard shell suitcase just for my shells. I am glad I did! I never knew I would walk by sand dollars, dead on an island, and not pick them up because I already had too many!
This shelling experience has made me think of two things. The first being how God brought to mind two special people over and over on this vacation. I reflected on what they mean to me. Like seashells, we are all different. Neither of us spend a lot of time together. But they are the people God put in my life and we are blessed by them. One of them helps keep me well physically and one helps keep me well emotionally and is a prayer warrior for me. Proverbs 27: 9, "Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice." Philippians 1: 3, "I thank my God every time I remember you."
The other thing I thought about was how beautiful the shells were! I have seen every color imaginable on the shells. There are every size and shape! They look like an artist has delicately painted each one. No two are alike. Some are smooth and some are rough. Some are young and some are old. Some are carrying barnacles around with them like extra baggage. Some are scarred and some are cut. Each has a story. But they are beautiful and I am reminded that the artist is God. It is like every brush stroke and color was chosen for just that shell. This is His handiwork on grand display, right before our eyes! Psalm 95: 5, "The sea is his, for he made it..." Genesis 1: 21,, "So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good."
Every shell I have seen has been beautiful and unique and I have not seen all shells. I cannot fathom how many seashells there are. Each one intricately painted by the Artist! If He does that for seashells think about what He has done, is doing and will do for us! Genesis 1: 26, "Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” Psalm 8: 8, "...the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas." Psalm 104: 25, "There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number— living things both large and small."
Romans 5: 8, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." God loves us so intensely that He allowed His only Son to die in our place before we ever repented. 2 Corinthians 5: 17, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" If you belong to Jesus then you are new in Him and get to spend eternity with Him! 1 John 3: 1, "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!"
Psalm 146: 6, "He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them—he remains faithful forever." I have so much to shellebrate! I have wonderful people in my life and most of all I am a child of God! What are you shellebrating?