I walked miles upon miles along the beach. I photographed shells and critters that the storms left on the sand. I didn't need to pick up all of the shells. I threw back the "live" ones. Once again, I found myself seeking the treasures in the sand that I desired for myself. I even ask them of God. I feel impatient when I ask and don't receive. When I relax, enjoying my walk without expectation, God surprises me. I stopped to admire something through a photo. I spotted a shell that I had never found before. I placed it in my bag. It wasn't the one I had in mind. I quickly hoped on finding the shells I had set out to find. I would keep this one, but I had my heart set on the other ones.
It took a much longer walk down the beach and a few conversations with strangers along the way, for me to realize the value of the treasure that I held. The shell that I had found, the one that I carelessly placed in my bag, was the shell that others desired to find. I wonder why I can't just accept what is given rather than expect what I want!
Later on a woman whom I had spoken with earlier brought a large conch shell to show me. It was vacant and pretty. She was excited to hold such a perfect treasure. She described it as she showed me. She wanted to share it with me! How often I have found treasures, beautiful, rare treasures - and I have quickly hidden them, hoping no one would notice. I am greedy. God wants me to share my treasures, and to rejoice with others over theirs. What does this reveal about my heart? Do I keep it for myself because I would I would be jealous of something they had, that I wanted? Am I greedy,selfish and envious?
How can it be that hundreds of people walk the same beach over, yet each one finds different treasures? How is it that what I see as a treasure differs than someone Else's? Why do I need to find my treasure right now?? Isn't it more realistic that I may find them years from now? And, that after years and years of waiting for the ocean to uncover that special gift, the reward would be much greater? Not in the gift itself, but rather in the long awaiting patience of the receiver?
I pray that God would help me to be patient and thankful for what He has chosen for me now. Maybe He is waiting to give me His treasures until He knows how I will handle them. Will I see them for the beauty they are? Will I understand the worth of what I hold? Will I admire their beauty? will I desire nothing more than that treasure at that very moment? Will I share it? Will I allow others to be blessed?
What is more about the woman who showed me her shell treasure...She hadn't found it! Someone else found it, gave it to her, and she accepted it as if it were her own! My pride has only allowed me to accept the treasures that I find myself. If I accepted on from another, it wouldn't really be mine. I am proud.
I keep asking God to teach me more about His Grace. Today I am seeing sin. This is the biggest picture of God's grace. The bigger I see my sin, the bigger I see God's grace. "Lord, keep showing me my sin so that I see the shadow of your Grace."