Do you ever feel like you have seasons where the waves are hitting you up against the rocks? You feel beat up and washed out. Life is hard. It could be a difficult relationship, a frustrating job, a high-security environment, or even an illness that affects you or someone you love. I both love and hate how the Bible has something to say about those hard places. I love how those verses give hope that God has a purpose for our suffering. I hate how they don't have a magical formula to make them all go away.
For example, Paul tells the Romans,
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our lives with his love. (Romans 5: 3-5 NLT)These verses tell us that God loves us and has a purpose in our trials. Even if there is not a quick easy solution, God is with us in those trials.
One of my favorite pastimes is to go out to the beach near us during low tide to look for sea glass. The sea glass is usually found by the rocky areas and is more abundant after a storm.
Sea glass is broken glass that has been worn down by the waves. Over a period of 7 to 10 years, the broken glass is tossed and turned by the waves until it is turned into something beautiful. Its edges are smooth and often has a frosty look to it. (By the Sea Jewelry)
The sea glass comes in all shapes, sizes and color. But one thing all the pieces have in common is that they were all broken and discarded. To someone, they were garbage. To someone like me, they are now treasures to be found. What a perfect picture of our life with God. He saw us in our broken state with all of our jagged edges. God didn't wait for us to be fixed but loved us and sent his son to die for us. (Roman 5:8) He redeemed us and is now in the process of making us into something beautiful often through our problems and trials.
Peter affirms this when he tells his readers in his first letter to...
Be truly glad. There is a wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold... so when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. (I Peter 1: 6-10 NLT)My prayer for you today is that you will remember that God loves you and is making you into beautiful sea glass. Right now your edges may feel sharp, but he is the master polisher. As you endure remember you are not alone in the waves, He with you.
Let me know in the comments if there is any way I can pray for you.