Starting a Collection
Imagine you are a little girl. One day you wake up and decide that you want a collection of seashells. After all, they are beautiful! Each shell offers a unique display of colors, shapes, chips, knobs, and lines. They all smell like the ocean, and if you are lucky enough to find a conch, then you can take home with you the roaring sound of the ocean waves!
A little girl may not understand the mechanics of how seashells are made. She probably doesn’t know that a shell is actually the exoskeleton of an invertebrate animal. One thing she does understand is that, if she goes to the beach, she will probably find a seashell! Of course, she has no power to decide what kind of shell it will be or where along the coast it waits for her. But she will never find one unless she shows up.
The delight of being a follower of Christ is that we can collect encounters with our Savior! We may not understand exactly how they happen, but if we keep moving in His direction, He meets us in His own powerful way, creating experiences and memories that we will cherish for the rest of our lives. We find something new and delightful every time we seek Him. But we must show up. If the little girl wants her collection of seashells, she must go to the beach. If we want our collection of encounters with Jesus, we must go to our knees.
The secret of the seashell is that you must actively show up. Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.” Encountering God won’t happen when we sit on the couch and veg out on TV. It won’t happen when we go to the bar and drink away our sorrows. It won’t happen when we let routines take their course as we slowly disappear behind the lines of monotony. No, it happens when we set aside time to invite His presence into our daily life. We pray, read the Bible, submit to His will, learn what it means to hear His voice and begin to truly know God. We must invest our heart, life and passion into showing up and seeking Jesus.
What If You Find No Seashells?
Unfortunately, we all experience the stormy days when you go to the beach and don’t find a single seashell. However, the beautiful truth is that the ocean always carries more shells to the beach each morning. The tide must recede for a while, but if you wait a short while longer, it will always return, carrying fresh new treasures with it.
Don’t ever give up! There may be seasons when it feels like God has withdrawn from you. But perhaps it is only because He is collecting fresh new treasures to lay at your feet. Trust Him and keep seeking Him out. You don’t know which day will be the day of breakthrough. It might even be today. But you won’t find out unless you make that trip to the beach. Let Him carry you even when you don’t understand, and someday soon, you will find breakthrough. You never know… maybe this seashell will be the most beautiful and valuable shell of your whole life! Just keep showing up. It’s worth the wait!