Distraction of Debris

Debris on the Beach

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  Jeremiah 29:13

 Walking along the shoreline at low tide following a storm, isn’t necessarily the most picturesque time to enjoy the beach.  Instead of leisurely  hiking along the landscapes of white sand welcoming the foaming waves of the surf, I found myself meandering around driftwood, broken shells, krill, and even washed up jellyfish.  Looking down the shoreline, it seemed like an eyesore as it was covered with piles of debris everywhere.  I was disappointed because this junk that had washed up over night, truly impacted my anticipated seashore pictures. 

I soon discovered that there were treasures hidden among this unpleasant debris.  First, the birds were a sight to behold as many descended upon the piles of wood and seaweed scampering and poking around finding delicious morsels hidden in the nooks and crannies. Their antics were entertaining and reminded me of how God cares for the birds and feeds them generously.  The food certainly wasn’t a pinterest presentation, but the birds were more than satisfied.  This was one reminder that sometimes, the Lord may try to meet my needs when I pray, but because it isn’t packaged the way I thought it should be, I could miss His providence.

Birds having a feast as they scavenger through the debris.

Second were the treasures that were hidden in the rubble.  I saw many people with bags, sifting through the debris as if they were hunting for gold.  Shark-eyes, olives, angel wings, and sand dollars were just a few of the treasures these beachcombers were finding. One woman’s lifelong sought discovery was buried underneath the tangles and piles of broken shells and twigs.  It was not obvious at first, but with a little bit of time and elbow grease she dug out of the mess, a perfect conch shell! Another reminder to me that God’s promises and answers to prayers may not always be easy to discern. Sometimes it requires me to sift through the rubble to dig down deep before I can discover what God is trying to teach me in a difficult situation.

Debris, it’s easy to look at a pile of junk from afar, assume it has no value and just needs to be cleaned up and disposed of.  But in many cases, there may be valuable treasures hidden in the rubble. I know there are times when I face overwhelming situations that seem impossible to separate the mess from the stress, the burdens from the needs, or the inconveniences from the obligations.  However there are promises, hope, and strength to be found in our times of struggle and confusion.  We just might need to dig down a bit into the nooks and the crannies to find them.   In Psalm 139, the Psalmist wrote how the Lord searches us and knows our every movement, sometimes I think I need to search for Him with the same passion. I love how Jeremiah 29: 11-13 says it:

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Dear Lord, When I make a mess of things and can’t seem to find you, thank you that you reveal your promises to me even though they may be camouflaged in the debris. Help me realize You are always there even in the mess! Amen

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