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Lessons from the Beach- Turning the Trash in Our Lives Into Something Beautiful


 What’s one thing you think about when you hear the word Hawaii?   

 

The first thing that pops into your mind is a tropical beach. Am I right? 

 

I mean, how can it not? Hawaii is officially made up of 137 islands, including eight major islands, seven of which are inhabited. So, beaches are a given!  

 

In fact, the Big Island of Hawaii has something extra special—it not only has the traditional creamy white beaches on the Kona side and black sand beaches on the Hilo side, but it also has one of only four green sand beaches in the world located near the southern tip of the island. It's quite the treat to get there, but it truly is stunning, and according to my grandchildren, the sand is "their favorite" because it's "so soft." 

 

Actually, this past week, we visited three beaches in one day, including the green sand one, so beaches are naturally on my mind.  

 

Sand, surf, and ocean breezes bring about a vision of tranquility and relaxation.

 

Digging your toes into the sand, soaking in the beauty of a warm summer day, and watching the sun sparkle on the water—if you are a beach lover, then I know you understand.

 

The beach always makes me appreciate God's magnitude and the marvel of His creation, from the vastness of the ocean down to the tiny specks of sand.

 

Just incredible.

 

Oh, I digress.

 

Today, I want to talk about a genuinely one-of-a-kind beach… the Glass Beach in Fort Bragg, California.  

 

A beach made from trash!

 

It began in 1906 when the residents established a garbage pile called "The Dumps." The original dump site was filled in 1943, moved to another area, filled again in 1949, moved a third time, and remained active until 1967, when it was finally closed.

 

Ironically, over all those years, the pounding waves broke down the glass and pottery and tumbled them into tiny, smooth, multicolored pieces that now litter the shoreline with sparkling, beautiful glass sand!  

 

From trash to beauty. 

 

Now I say, is there anything too difficult for God? 

 

I mean if God, using His creation of nature, can turn trash into something beautiful (just because), how much more can He do in our lives?  Aren’t we more precious than a shoreline filled with trash?

 

The great artist Michelangelo once said:

 

"The true work of art is a shadow of the divine perfection. … Every block of stone has a statue inside it, and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it. … The marble not yet carved can hold the form of every thought the greatest artist has." 

 

I argue God is the greatest artist.  He is the ultimate sculptor, He sees us with divine perfection. He clearly sees not only our circumstances but also how they can be used to shape our lives into His perfect design.  

 

Just like using the waves and tides to break and tumble the glass into sand!

 

Scripture tells us in Romans 8:28-

 

“And we know that all things work together for good, for those that love God, and are called according to His purpose.”

 

We can see this very Scripture play out in the life of Joseph – a Biblical Cinderella story (if you will) from prisoner to prince.   If you don't know his story, it's found in the book of Genesis, Chapters 37 to 50. Joseph is one of twelve children. He’s "Daddy's favorite," and his brothers hate him. They hated him so much that they seriously contemplated killing him but decided to sell him into slavery instead and pass off the story to their dad that wild animals killed him.

 

Joseph spent the next thirteen years banished from his home. He was enslaved and then imprisoned after being falsely accused of rape by his master’s wife.

 

Thirteen years of servitude, neglect, and abuse. 

 

Thirteen years to stew over the past and replay the wrongs done to him!

 

Yet, at the age of 30, he’s freed and becomes the second most powerful man in the country—second only to the Pharaoh.

 

Joseph was so powerful that years later, he found himself in a position to hold his brothers accountable for their terrible crimes. Because of a crippling famine, his brothers were forced to come to Egypt in search of food and supplies. In a crazy twist of fate, they end up before Joseph seeking help- not realizing they are standing before their brother! Now, Joseph has the perfect opportunity to have his revenge but, instead, he offers forgiveness and help, proclaiming to his brothers-  

 

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” – Genesis 50:20

 

God took all that junk that was meant to break Joseph and turned it into something dazzling!   Not only for Joseph’s benefit but, also for his family! 

 

I see Joseph’s life just like that glass beach-  it begins as a chaotic mess yet ends with God turning it all around and making it spectacular.

 

Nothing is too hard or impossible for the God who created the heavens and the earth, and nothing goes unnoticed.  

 

Here's the thing, ladies: God can do the exact same thing in our lives if we only let Him.

 

As I was preparing this message, I saw a cartoon on social media that showed a young man in various modes of transportation. The first you see the man seated in an airplane, and it says, "You don't know the pilot, but you relax and trust anyway."   The second the man on a boat, and it reads, "You don't know the captain of the boat, but you relax and trust anyway."  Next, you see the man on a bus, and it says: "You don't know the bus driver, but you relax and trust anyway."   Then, you see the man on a train, and it reads, "You don't know the conductor, but you relax and trust anyway."   The final scene is the same man in his backyard reading a Bible, and it says, "Why is it so difficult for us to relax and just trust God with our lives?" 

 

The last one should be a no-brainer, yet it’s the one we struggle with the most!

 

Why do we limit God's abilities in our lives? Why do we try so hard to do things ourselves, fix things ourselves, and correct our situations alone?   

 

We focus on the trash and junk in our lives and tend only to see the pain, loss, illness, disappointment, despair, hopelessness, defeat, and negativity. We speak impossibilities, and it all looms over us like a giant mountain of trash!

 

I say- enough!

 

We need to stop seeing the trash and instead focus on the splendor and capabilities of God!  

 

Start trusting in your Savior and relinquish yourself to Him. Allow His waves to wash over you, allow His sculpting tools to shape you, and permit Him to accomplish the impossible in your life!  

 

God is not a powerless myth! He is a powerful force so mighty that He can take anything in your life—even the evil things meant to harm you—and turn it all around—turn it into a masterpiece for your good!    

 

It just takes time!

 

So, Ladies, start believing today that just like Joseph, God can take the trash in your life and make something beautiful!  Start believing that He wants to chip away at the junk surrounding you to reveal your most fabulous self.

 

I leave you with this declaration from Isaiah 64:8- “But now, O LORD, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You, our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

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