katie and tabitha are visiting me on their spring break! (oh, how i miss having one of those...)
we spent a few hours down at Folly Beach today. it was absolutely gorgeous out, but despite this fact, the Atlantic Ocean was FREEEEEEZING!
Folly Beach has a TON of seashells lining the beach.
i'm not really big on collecting seashells or anything, but tab-tab and katie are! and they proceeded to collect a walmart bag full of them.
if i'm looking at shells, i'm looking for pretty ones that are in pristine condition. it's not that they're not pretty (after all, they're God's creation, too), that's just naturally what draws my eyes.
but the more i looked for the "good ones", the more i missed seeing the beautiful broken ones. it really got me thinking about how God sees us and still uses us.
luckily, before i left, i started to see the beauty in the broken shells, too.
i started noticing colors and textures that i had previously missed.
i wonder how many shells i've missed over the course of the handful of beach trips in my life when i didn't look at the shells because they weren't "pretty enough".
but this is what we are.
we're broken seashells scattered along the beach.
luckily God doesn't see us this way.
He sees us for what we are: Beautiful. and because of His undying love for us, God sent His Son to be the atonement for all brokenness that sin causes us.
"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." -Romans 5:8
i just finished reading a chapter in "Twelve Extraordinary Women" about Rahab and how God used her, despite the lifestyle she led. Rahab was a prostitute, yet played an incredibly important role in Old Testament history. It was noted that theologians wanted to downplay Rahab's lifestyle choices, but it was later quoted, "This woman was no mere hostess, but a real harlot .... I am persuaded that nothing but a spirit of distaste for free grace would ever have led any commentator to deny her sin." C.H. Spurgeon (emphasis added by me). Rahab is a testament to true grace.
"Rahab is extraordinary precisely because she received extraordinary grace. There's no need to reinvent her past to make her seem less of a sinner. The disturbing fact about what she once was simply magnifies the glory of divine grace, which is what made her the extraordinary woman she became" (67).
we're brutally broken sinners.
but God redeems us by His love and His mercy and His grace alone.
nothing we can ever do will make us more beautiful to Him; if we truly believe in the sweet, miraculous sacrifice He made, He sees us as the beautifully broken creatures we are.
i listened to this song as i strode along the beach this afternoon.
"Beautifully broken in Your eyes.
You see the man my sins disguise.
You took my place
You saved my life
Miraculous love, sweet sacrifice.
Beautifully broken, you were beautifully broken."
Jesus chose to be beautifully broken for us. He suffered death on a cross so that I may be redeemed from my broken past and present (and future) and made perfect one day - the day I reach Heaven!!