Thursday, March 10, 2016

Even One Is Enough

Last fall my husband and I vacationed along the Gulf Coast. As we walked along Pensacola Beach on a cool and windy day, I didn’t plan to pick up seashells. I had been to ocean beaches and collected seashells before. 

I did, however, want to remember the sights, sounds, and even smells of that walk long after we'd gone home. And I knew how powerfully a memento can sometimes stir up memories. I settled on a shell. 

Fortunately, collecting seashells is permitted along our seashores, though we are just as undeserving as we would be taking wildflowers from rightfully protected parks. Perhaps this privilege is granted because the sea continuously produces shell after shell. I have never seen an ocean beach without them.

The sand on this stretch of beach did indeed embrace thousands of shells, in all sizes, forms, and colors, but I thought one would probably be enough. I scooped up a single seashell and tucked it into one of my jacket pockets.

Fast-forward to a near-spring day in Central Indiana. I have on the same jacket, and when I reach into my pocket, I find the long-forgotten shell. All the memories come back just as I had hoped. Everything, all from that single shell.

I’d been right. One was enough.

Some days all seems “right with the world,” like walking along a beautiful seashore on vacation. But on those days, do I take the time to notice even a single reminder of God’s loving kindness? Do I realize how powerful each blessing from God can be when it is tucked away to be remembered another day? Do I know how the privilege of one undeserved but remembered blessing can make all the difference on days that are anything but a vacation? 

Like the sea produces seashells, God produces blessing after blessing after blessing. I have never seen a day without a multitude of blessings from Him, even though I might not have realized that until days, weeks, or months later.

When I think about it, though, even one wholly undeserved kindness from the Almighty can remind me of all His blessings when I need to remember them the most. If only I will scoop it up and tuck it away, like a shell from the sea, even one can be enough. 

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
  (Psalm 23:1 NIV)

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