Breakfast on the Beach: Cleansing Tide

Breakfast on the Beach Day 4, St. Augustine, FL

 

The tide has been so high this morning the beach is literally littered with debris…hundreds of shells & fragments, seaweed in abundance, even an occasional piece of soggy driftwood strewn about.  It’s as if the ocean heaved to dump its garbage on the shore then receded to distance itself from the ensuing mess.  If an alien landed on this beach at this moment he might conclude that nothing good or useful comes out of the sea—only this refuse that once served a purpose but is now rendered useless.

 

How many times in my 40+ years of existence have I felt that life has relentlessly churned me & then spit me out, much like the ocean & these broken shells?  What once could have been beautiful & meaningful is now reduced to something of little or no value, mere remnants that only the most vivid imagination could picture as lovely.  Failed relationships, tensions in the workplace, ill-placed loyalties, wrong priorities, poor choices, missed opportunities…all waves in the ocean of life with tragic remains sprawled out on the shore, scattered about in pieces as painful reminders of my fallen state.  It is difficult to think that God could do anything with this mess.  Yet the Bible says he gives “beauty for ashes” {Isaiah 61:3}…He exchanges the rubble & ruin for temples of glory.  His glory.  In His time.  Just as we cannot change the timing of the tides, God’s purposes in our lives cannot be hurried. 

 

Eventually the tide will move in again to sweep the beach clean pulling all the debris out to sea…a forceful act of the Creator to wipe away all evidence of clutter on the beach leaving it once again pristine.  How powerful the picture, how precious the reality of what Christ accomplished on the Cross of Calvary.  In one unselfish act of obedience at the direction of the Creator, Jesus made a way for all life’s clutter and the ugliness of sin to be forever washed away.  And just as the waves ebb & flow a constant replenishment & removal of seaweed, our life’s redemption is an on-going exchange…our sin for his blood.

 

I avert my eyes from the garbage on the beach to follow waves far off in the distance as they merge with the horizon.  Indeed, the ocean is so much more than what is represented on the sand.  There is beauty and depth that will never be fully realized while standing on the shore. 

 

“…it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we will be like Him…” I John 3:2

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