Sea glass is broken pieces of glass, turned and tossed in the ocean. It is carried to the shore by waves. It shines and glistens on the sand and is found by passers by. They are so excited about their find. It is such a beautiful gift.
Something that once was whole. Something that once was functional and used in some way to serve another became broken. Shattered. Its pieces scattered and beaten by the ocean. Tossed and tumbled.
It does not know that it is being transformed. It just happens. The transformation is breathtaking.
Jagged edges are now smooth. It has a new shape. It is no longer able to hold liquid or messages. It is no longer about how it can serve you. Now, after the transformation, it is about how it enters into a new relationship for pure enjoyment.
With each piece found there is a story. It once was a slave to one thing, how it could work for you. It had to become broken to embrace the smooth edges and beauty that it offered. Brokenness lead to a new type of relationship, a better one.
Sea glass is a beautiful reflection of our relationship with Jesus.
I was recently reading something from one of my favorite authors, Wayne Jacobsen, and he said, “I see him as a gracious Father, rescuing his children from brokenness and transforming us over time to take on his glory”. Jesus has transformed me. Like the sea glass, it just happened. It was not anything I did. Jesus does all the work even though I sometimes try really hard to help him out. I get uncomfortable when I think about another person doing something for me. I am more comfortable when the roles are reversed. I do not want that kind of attention and most importantly I want it done like I want it done! God’s gift to me is so beautiful and life changing but when I do not believe and embrace it I can get scared. Then I start trying to control my life. I have developed a list of life rules I must follow to keep things in order!
When I do not trust that Jesus has transformed me into a beautiful, new person that he wants a relationship of pure enjoyment with I start to get anxious. I get busy. I like to make to-do list. I catch myself being anxious when I realize I am adding to my to-do list once it gets down low. What will I do if there is available time? I must stay busy! Isn’t that my purpose? I start trying to become that before person that has to work hard and can only serve, like the sea glass before it was broken. There is no relationship there. There is only a master and a slave.
I can work and work but the striving leads to frustration. I know I cannot live up to the standards I have set for myself, even though I have told myself that these standards are things that Jesus expects. I cannot keep my life together and whole. I mess up frequently but I keep trying. Eventually I become worn down. I am tired but not sleeping well. I am “hungry” all the time. I have a very short fuse. That leads to frustration, anger, resentment, and the list goes on. My relationships are affected and I end up hurting others. My whole life is affected.
I can only try for so long. I eventually become broken. Tossed around in an emotional roller coaster. There are highs and lows. I hit hard ground and shatter.
Even though I do not always believe that Jesus is with me during those times, He is. He does not fight me or force me to stop striving. He loves me well and knows that eventually I will remember the truth. I cannot do life on my own no matter how hard I try. He does not even want me to. John 3:17 tells us that Jesus came to earth to save me. He makes my sharp edges smooth. He makes it where we can have a relationship of pure enjoyment. This happens because of Him. There is nothing for me to do except admit that I cannot do this alone. I surrender. It is no longer a master and slave relationship. It is not about what I can do and how I can serve. It is about how Jesus came to serve and love and transform.
Sea glass goes from being a useable vessel to being broken and then to being beautiful. It has a completely different definition now. It has a story behind its brokenness and transformation. We each have a story as well. Jesus completely changes our story. It is no longer about what we can do. It is about trusting in the transformation that takes us from broken to beautiful.
I encourage you to spend some time reflecting on your story. It continues every day and I pray that you are able to embrace the beauty of it.
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