Romans 9:27-28; 30-33 (NIV)
27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the remnant will be saved. 28 For the Lord will carry out His sentence on earth with speed and finality.
30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the “stumbling stone.” 33 As it is written: “See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.”
I saw it with my very own eyes last night. I touched it with my hands; I walked in it barefooted. I stood in absolute awe and watched as the Pacific tide washed over the sandy beach where I stood. The lights of San Diego flickered in the misty hue of evening tide. I was cold in the chilly, wet air; thankful to have a warm windbreaker to wear. My bare feet were toasty warm in the sand as I walked along the shore. Men in wetsuits were playing in the surf. Waiting to catch a wave, they clung to their surfboards and waited for the perfect pick-me-up. Some paddled on their bellies and enjoyed a free ride to shore. Seagulls circled above my head, landing near my feet. They seemed content having me near them. Several people had built a bonfire nearby, enjoying a magnificent view of the ocean while toasting marshmallows and roasting hot dogs on skewers. There are no words to adequately describe this amazing created work of God. I felt very small, standing there, squishing my toes in the wet sand. How can He possibly know my name? The Father knows each and every one of us by name. We are His children and just like the grains of sand along the seashore, He knows who you are. He knows who I am. And He loves us so much more than we can possibly comprehend.
Many generations have walked along the beaches of life. Footprints are seen for only a moment before the tide washes them away. Where are they going? Are they just as perplexed as I am, when I stand on the shore and look out over the deep and endless water? Can they feel the hand of God touching their faces in the salty spray carried by power of the evening breeze? Or do they feel more like an insignificant grain of sand, surrounded in a sea of a billion others, unnoticed, unnecessary and unloved?
Yesterday morning, Jeff and I sat together on the floor near Gate C-8, with boarding tickets in hand. It was a flight filled to capacity, and there were only a few places open to sit and wait. We chose to sit together on the floor close to the ticket counter, next to a young man who appeared to be traveling alone. I offered to buy him breakfast. He looked rather hungry, like most college students do. He was surprised that someone would care enough to offer to buy him breakfast in a crowded airport terminal, where people were consumed by the images floating across their laptop computer screens while talking incessantly on the cell phone hugging their ear. If you want to experience a true moment of insignificance, take some time to sit at the airport boarding gate and watch how many people pass you by, absolutely oblivious to the faces around them.
We are the masses, the tiny grains of sand spread out across the shores of life. The prophet Isaiah cried out to His people, “Wake up! See your salvation not through the things you do but through the eyes of faith. We seem to get so busy moving and doing and working and planning. We try to follow all the rules. Some of us are better at it than others. Yet, there is a tiny remnant, a smattering of faithful ones, who will choose to live out their life not by what they can do, but what the Lord can do through them. They are the ones who hear His still small voice, and answer His call with resounding joy.
As Jeff and I walked hand-in-hand along the shore last night, I twisted my foot on a stone. I stumbled. If he had not been there to catch me, I would have fallen down. Sometimes we all need a hand to hold as we walk along the shore. My friends, we do not walk alone, even though some of us choose to. Jesus Christ is standing right in front of you, and He is trying to get your attention. Will you look up this morning and see the risen Christ walking across the water, reaching His hand out to you? Will you choose to live not by the laws or the culture or the norms you experience day-to-day, but by placing your faith in the only one who can offer you everlasting and abundant life? If you find yourself walking alone this morning, surrounded by oblivious, busy people, self-absorbed and in a hurry, stop right where you are, and take off your sandals. You are standing on holy ground. You do not have to understand why or how to experience the amazing love, healing and forgiveness that comes only through faith in Jesus Christ.
Grace and peace,
Pray for: eyes to see Him today. Come and join the remnant. Take a walk in the sand with me today. We can share a little breakfast together as we wait for our Lord’s return. Jesus Christ is out there, walking on the water, calling your name.
© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding
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