I recently had a nice trip to North Myrtle Beach with some good friends. I grew up coming here to the Grand Strand before it was covered with high rise condos, and I love the wide beach and swimming in the waves of the Atlantic.
This stretch of beach is not the best for shelling, however. By the time the shells have landed on the hard sand, they are broken in pieces and line the beach as the waves bring them in. Finding a whole shell is pretty rare.
As we walked along the beach, I thought about how the shells are like so many people I know who have been broken by the pounding of life. Divorce, addiction, depression, deaths of loved ones, job loss, mental and physical illness, and the day to day wear and tear of life crush us down. We become like the shells on the shore, with parts of us cracked and torn.
Sometimes other people’s brokenness can cause us pain, as when I step on a jagged shell.
But God in His infinite grace restores our broken edges. One of my favorite verses is Psalm 34:18:
The Lord is close to the broken-hearted
And saves those who are crushed in spirit.
If you are feeling broken today, remember that God is extra close, that He loves you and wants to see you whole again. Our hard times change us, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. We can be like the sea glass that sometimes washes up on shore, with its edges soft from the constant tumbling on the ocean floor. Instead of jagged edges that hurt both ourselves and others, we can become something beautiful that can be used by God.