Wednesday, July 08, 2009

A walk on the beach

Today’s Reading: Acts 3:19-20 (NIV)

[Peter said,] 19 “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, 20 and that He may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you – even Jesus.”

Good morning!

I walked along the public beach barefooted in Greece, New York at daybreak, watching the groundskeeper run a tractor over the sand. He was preparing the soil for all who would come to walk by the water’s edge. The sand was soft and cool where he had been, and I followed the pattern left by the grater, as I moved along the shoreline. Gulls were gathering in small flocks, leaving their webbed footprints all over the newly plowed beach. The water from the lake was sending a cool dew spray into the air, and I could feel a splash of water on my face as I gazed down the shoreline.

I’ve always liked playing in the sand. I could sit for hours and run my hands through the tiny grains that wash up by the water’s edge. This morning, however, I was reminded of something quite different as I felt tiny particles cover my toes and cupped in the palm of my hand. I saw my sinfulness exposed in a brand new light.

How many sins have I committed? Can I name every mistake I’ve ever made? I couldn’t help but see millions of tiny grains covering the shore. God sees and hears every harsh word, unkind thought, and cruel deed that has washed up like the sands of time on life’s beach. My sins were so many they were too numerous to count, just like every particle of sand. What once brought me great delight suddenly reminded me of my human shame. Our sins can be quite comforting at first, eluding us to the dangerous sharp and jagged edges buried underneath its silky exterior. If you are brave enough to stop and dig deep enough into your sin nature, you will find tiny bits of sharp glass and jagged pebbles cutting the soles of your hands and feet. In this God moment, I was impressed by how much He sees and knows of all my sins. I felt convicted; my soul overwhelmed in embarrassment and shame.

I sat crying at the water’s edge. The sand was no longer comforting, and had begun to form clumps that I could not completely free myself from, no matter how hard I tried. There it was - right in front of me, my sins written in the sands of time. Who could possibly wash this mess away? I needed to see Christ’s cleansing power at work in my life. I repeated the words of the 51st Psalm, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from all my sin.” (Psalm 51:1-2 NIV)

I felt a sudden rush of water lap up from the lake, covering my feet and legs. I watched as it quickly removed the tiny grains embedded between my toes, receding back into the deep lake. The sun had started to peek through the morning clouds and I gazed up in wonder at the most beautiful, colorful spray of rainbow light spreading across the bay. In that holy moment, Jesus Christ came and washed my sins away with His living water; I knew it was His blood covering me.

For every sin you’ve ever committed, Jesus waits at the water’s edge to heal you. He died and rose again so that we can be finally free from the sin separating us from God. IF you are willing to humble yourself before the Lord and turn away from sin, Christ will come and His mercy and grace will cover you like the waters washing away the sand covering your feet.

The Apostle Peter understood our deep need to repent and turn back to God. Through Christ alone, we receive His everlasting refreshment, as our sins are washed away in the blood. Come and take a walk along life’s beach today and confess your sins to the Father. Jesus Christ will come and wash your sins away if you willingly repent, turn around, and trust Him completely to be the Lord of your life.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


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