A Handful of Sand

Lately, my thoughts have been harder to get onto paper.  Seems like I just can’t seem to write down exactly the way I feel about it.  I found a new (to me) song today though and one line says “He knows the number of each grain of sand, and I can’t even count what I can hold in my hand”.  This one particular line has been on repeat in my mind ever since I heard it.  How amazing it is that God knows the number of every single minute grain of sand that ever existed.  It’s just so true that we could grab a handful of sand and would never be able to count even half of the handful. 

 I can just picture it now, as I run my hand into a sandbox grabbing a big handful of soft sand.  I bring my hand up and immediately the sand starts pouring through between my fingers.  Ive already lost a lot of sand but I try to continue to count what I have left.  I open my hand ever so slowly yet still more slides off the edges of my hand.  I squeeze my fingers tightly together until my hand begins to cramp.  I start my count and realize that I can’t even see the grains of sand that are in the crevices of my hand.  Nor am I able to keep track of which tiny grains I’ve counted and the others that remain.  I give up! 

This simple illustration humbles me so much because not only does it seem impossible that God knows every grain of sand, but also that he numbers the hairs on our head.  Now I can’t even keep up with my own hairs! I mean, I shed like a mutt most days of the week and I wouldn’t even be able to count the ones I lose much less each hair I keep.  And that’s just the beginning because not only does my Lord know every hair on my head, he knows all of your hairs too!  And he numbers our neighbors’ hair, and our friends’, and even the President’s each and every hair.  How overwhelming to imagine.  It’s so wonderful that we can come to know personally our God, our Saviour, who created ALL things!  And He cares enough for little you and me that He keeps track of every seemingly insignificant detail of us.  Who are we to worry about anything when our Lord is in control? 

To further the thought, think about the thousands of grains of sand I lost through the cracks of my hands.  God holds the whole entire world in His hands and he never loses even a single one of us.  We will never have to worry about slipping through between His fingers.  Think of the grains that were in the crevices of my wrinkled hand.  I couldn’t even see them.  Isn’t it wonderful that God can ALWAYS see us?  He knows exactly where we are every minute and even knows what’s in our hearts and on our minds.  He even understands!  How amazing to know that we are loved by such a powerful and omnipotent God!  Thank you Lord for a handful of sand.


Be Ye Seperate (Study of Saltwater)


Brackish water: salt water mixed with fresh water.  It can be found where rivers meet the ocean or estuaries.  In many places where this occurs, the tide pushes saltwater back up the freshwater river a long way, miles even. The saltwater is denser and therefore it’s on the bottom while the freshwater is at the surface.  The surface can give the appearance of being very calm and serene, while underneath, the saltwater current going the opposite direction causes the water to violently roil.
I’ve pondered on this saltwater and freshwater illustration for several weeks and wasn’t really able to understand what there was to learn from it, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it.  I believe God made everything in nature a certain way so that we may learn from it and most everything will teach us several lessons if we pay attention.  The Bible says that no fountain can yield both salt water and fresh, see James 3:12.   Both types of water could be used to demonstrate a Christian, however, for this illustration let’s say salt water is representative of the born-again believer.  (“Ye are the salt of the earth” Matthew 5:13.)  When we get saved, God makes us one of His own and we belong to Him, or in the ocean.  Salt water is also denser than freshwater.  Density can be described as how much “stuff” you can put into the same area.  A saved person may be the same size as a lost person but they have the Holy Spirit living inside them and have hidden God’s words in their heart, therefore they are denser.  The freshwater represents the world, other people who are lost in sin, those working for the devil and sin itself.  Where these types of water meet become brackish areas of water.  We should strive to stay out in the ocean but oftentimes we find ourselves drifting near the “fresher” areas of water, being pushed miles upstream by the tides.  God commands us to live a separate life in II Corinthians 6:17, but oft times we fail.  It’s here we are in danger of becoming affected by the world, damaging our testimony and harming our relationship with Jesus Christ.  The “freshwater” seems to be calmer on the surface, peaceful, and we are fooled into believing that our lives will be better.  But when the saltwater is being pushed upstream against the current, it creates a violent area that confuses and disorients the fish that are living in each type of water.  Predators are always alert and active at these places because they can easily catch these fish when they’re so disoriented.  We as Christians only cause confusion in our children and families when we tell them to live for God and then we contradict ourselves and live like the rest of the world.  If we say that a good Christian should dress modestly, use clean language, read the Bible and obey God and then we watch ungodly television shows or listen to filthy music this causes much confusion to those around us watching our lives.  Predators are watching for our children and lost loved ones to get so disoriented that they become easy prey.  Predators will even prey on you when you get yourself so mixed up in sin that you cannot tell which way you are going anymore.  In studying these areas of brackish water, I found that they are very populated not only by fish but also by predators such as birds and seals.  The devil knows exactly where to find you and he will wait and use your weakness against you. These areas that are so calm on the surface are alluring good Christians away from the ocean each and every day, beware!

In estuaries and even mangroves, the brackish water serves as a nursery.  Here you will find both a newly born-again believer or simply children of non-believers.  Many people who do not go to church or worship God, feel the need to take their children anyway.  It’s usually sporadic and never constant, but they feel like they are doing right by telling their kids about God once in awhile, teaching them “Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep” and “Jesus Loves Me”.  Some people even turn to believers for prayer or help in their time of need with small children and the redeemed should use these times to witness to the lost and make a lasting influence on the children.  The newly born-again believer will find that in the nursery, or estuary, he can find saints, or saltwater, that can guide him to the ocean where he now belongs.  But he is still surrounded by the friends of his past, and must start to separate himself from the freshwater of his past.  We should always encourage the newly saved so that they will have courage to continue on living for the Lord without returning to the river they were delivered from.  The predator will be waiting for them to look back so he can lure them in with the calm and peaceful surface that appears to be easier than the rough, choppy waves of the ocean.
The ocean is controlled by the tides which are created by the gravitational forces of the moon, sun and rotation of the earth.  After we are saved, we belong in God’s ocean where He is in control.  We should pray for Him to send us where He will use us and follow His direction.  If His will is for us to be in a storm, then we should have faith that He will see us through it.  If God is putting us into the deep, we will become closer to Him and get to know Him better.  If He has us in a mission field, or an estuary, we should diligently do His work.  Christian life is not a walk in the park, as you can easy see the oceans surface is always wavy, rough or choppy with huge waves sometimes crashing.  But when you are in the Lord’s will, He will use you in those times and you will be unaware of how rough your situation seems to the onlooker.  He will provide you peace while the storms are raging.
In rivers, the freshwater is constantly being washed away by the current.  “All rivers lead to the ocean”, they say, but sadly all people will not end up in heaven.  Some of the water will be evaporated, or dead, before it reaches the ocean.  If God has given you just one chance to accept Jesus Christ as your saviour, and you denied Him, then your fate for eternity in Hell is sealed if you were to “evaporate”.  All the remaining freshwater is along for the ride over the rocks and through the floods being led either to its destruction or conversion.  Satan will deceive and destroy many in this life, but some will come to know the Lord.  Some will be made into saltwater and will join the waters of the ocean.

It is said that only 5 percent of the oceans have been discovered, and I say that is correct spiritually as well.  We only know a very small amount of what there is to know about God and His kingdom.  He says the things which He has prepared haven’t even entered into the heart of man, (1 Corinthians 2:9), and I’m sure there are many creatures and formations unknown to man living in the deep of the ocean that we couldn’t even begin to imagine them all.  Scientists think that they have figured out much about this world and how it was created but God made it all and He is the only one who knows everything there is to know about it.  The oceans are an integral part of life and most scientists believe that all life is dependent upon it.  How true this is!  God is the integral part of all our lives, whether we accept Him or not.  He created us and our very life is completely dependent upon Him!

My Love Story

As a little girl I dreamed often of my wedding, a big white dress and colorful flowers. By high school, I had planned out my future home.  I’d drawn it out even.  I’d live in a big gorgeous farmhouse with a wrap around porch where I’d cook all our meals and ring a big dinner bell to call my family in to eat.  The house would sit on rolling fields of pasture where cattle, horses and sheep would graze. There’d be a fishing pond down by the road, where ducks would splash and swim and my kids would throw rocks.  Chickens would run wild all over the yard and my toddlers would chase them for hours.  I had the landscape mapped out and fruit trees would be everywhere.  I’d even named my twelve children on the back of the house plans, first and middle names for six boys and six girls. (Yes, twelve kids? I was crazy!) The only mystery was what our last name would be.  I’d wonder if I would become a teacher and what my students would call me.  Mrs. Robinson?  Mrs. Silvers?  Mrs. Browning?  I’d sit in class and think about the boys I knew and how it would be if they were the one I ended up marrying.  Little did I know that I had already met my soulmate and he was definitely one of the least likely candidates, or so I thought.  My friends had major crushes on him and used me as the go between passing notes most of the time.  He even sat behind me in band class where he blared his saxophone in my ears for an hour everyday.  I recall telling my friends over and over that I would never date him and that I didn’t know what in the world they liked him for.  He was so annoying!
He graduated a few years ahead of me, so he was already working, had two trucks and was turning into quite the handsome Christian man every woman should dream of having.   He had been praying for God to send the woman he was supposed to marry into his life.  Then I stumbled in.
My best friend wanted me to go to church with her to meet Evan.  I wasn’t crazy about it since I knew I didn’t like him but God had started dealing with my heart about going to church so I went.  Of course, she had to sit right behind where Evan would sit.  I saw Evan singing in the choir and knew immediately that something was very different about him.  Could he really be the same boy from high school?  After church, I went out to eat with my friend and her family, who had also invited Evan.  They suckered us into sitting beside each other and we flirted a little while we ate.  After the meal he asked me to go four-wheeling with him.  (For those of you unfamiliar with that term, four-wheeling is when you go off-road in a truck or ATV, in our case a jacked up Toyota with giant mud tires).  He scared me to death a few times with his crazy driving but I didn’t dare let on to him that I was scared since he would’ve taken advantage of it.  We went for milkshakes and back to church that night where I sat beside him instead of behind him.  We’d hit it off and spent the rest of the day together, and the next day, and every day after that for months.  We were crazy about each other!
I’d been going to church with Evan every service for a few weeks and God had shown me that I was a lost sinner.  I’d been raised in church and thought that I had gotten saved when I was ten years old.  I truly believed that I was saved until God began to convict my heart and proved to me otherwise.  One Sunday night during service, my heart was about to beat out of my chest.  I didn’t think I could take it another minute!  I knew God was calling my name, beckoning for me to come to Him.  I don’t know what the preacher said that night, don’t know any songs that were sung but I know that I knelt in the altar on burgundy carpet on the left side of the pulpit while the pianist was playing “Just As I Am”.  I don’t remember everything that I said but I know that I told the Lord how sorry I was for how I was living and that I knew I needed him to save my soul. I prayed and prayed and when Jesus saved me I felt a peace come over me in that instant.  My heart slowed back down to normal, my breathing eased and I was confident that God had saved my poor, undeserving soul.   I no longer had to live in doubt of my salvation, didn’t have to worry about going to Hell if I died.  I was a child of the King now!
Not only had God saved me, but he had given me a wonderful man to marry and a church full of people who would become my family.  I thank God for turning my life around, saving the wretched sinner I was, and giving me more than I ever could have dreamed of!  I don’t have that gorgeous farmhouse or 100 acres.  I don’t have a pond or ducks, horses, cows and sheep.  I don’t have twelve kids and the two I have don’t even have any of the names I had picked out.  Our house isn’t landscaped with flowering fruit trees and I am not a teacher.  Instead I am married to my best friend.  We have two little boys who are just like us.  We have an old fixer upper house that we’ve made our home. We grow a garden and drive ordinary vehicles and our boys love every minute of it.  God works in our lives in the most amazing ways.  When God saved me, I realized my life had been changing and I hadn’t even realized it.  God’s made my dreams come true, dreams I didn’t even know I had, like dancing on the porch in the rain with the love of your life.  Praying with your family every night before bed.  Having your best friend by your side and being able to talk about anything and pray about everything together.  Having a church family that’s as close as real family.  And getting to be in love with your soulmate and show your children the relationship they can have if they wait on the Lord to send them the right person.  Thank you Lord for my love story, and most importantly the greatest love story of all, Jesus Christ!