Friday, January 17

We Are like Sea Glass

I have always found sea glass to be a great treasure but also a reminder. Sea glass - which was believed by early sailors to be the tears of mermaids - is glass (often a bottle) that has been lost in a lake or ocean that has broken and is refined by the water, the sand and other such forces. About this time every year, I go to a few beaches with my family, for us to be together and also take our bags to find and pick up sea glass along the beach. It comes in different colors: brown, green, clear, and sometimes you can even find blue, pink, red or orange, the rarer colors. 

What fascinates me the most, however, is how it relates to us. We may feel like we are a whole person, just like the glass bottle. Yet when the storm hits and the waves overcome us, we are broken. Over time God uses us in our broken state and refines us until we become smooth and covered by Him, just as the smooth sea glass covered in film. It is at this stage, when we feel so hopeless, that God reveals us as the treasure he has always seen us as - and sometimes, others see us as this too.

There are a number of passages in Scripture which refer to this process of refinement and purification; here are a select few:
  • "For You, God, tested us; You refined us as silver is refined." (Psalm 66:10)
  • "Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction" (Isaiah 48:10)
  • "Some of those who have insight will fall, in order to refine, purge and make them pure until the end time; because it is still to come at the appointed time" (Daniel 11:35).
  • "I will refine them like silver and test them like gold" (Zechariah 13:9).
  • "...so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (1st Peter 1:7)
Therefore, we ought to bear in mind the example of the so-called "sea glass." Throughout the course of our life, we are refined as sea glass is. We go through stages, processes, trials and tribulations. Yet when we reach the end of the journey, we have become something even more beautiful, something even more wondrous and pure.

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