Sea Glass - "In Everything by prayer..." Philippians 4:6
A getaway week at the ocean; I could hardly wait to beach-comb for shells and sea glass. During our time away, I found plenty of shells but not one piece of sea glass. As I thought about these evasive sea gems, it made me think of all of the troubles I have been through in the last several years. Just like the sharp pieces of glass, I have been rolled and tumbled about, being scraped across the rocky things in life and caught up in the swirling sea of emotional turmoil. And, like the sea glass, over time my edges have become a little less sharp and hurtful. The more tumbling and swirling, the more beautiful the sea glass becomes. I guess I hope that after all of the tumult I have been through, I am coming out a little more beautiful and useful to God, the master-craftsman. In His words, He is conforming me to the image of His Son. This happens when I surrender to Him even in the midst of the anxious times.
When Paul says in Philippians 4:6, “...but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God”, I take some comfort knowing that there will be a good result in the end. Notice that Paul says IN everything, not FOR everything. It is hard to feel thankful FOR my trials. But IN the midst of them I can pray and be thankful for His provision, protection and presence, knowing that He will meet me in the midst of whatever I am going through. I need not be anxious.
I noticed the two words, prayer and supplication and wondered, What's the difference? As I looked, they are similar but supplication includes earnestness and continued prayer out of a deep need. Bringing my concerns and anxieties to the Lord gives me a place to practice my trust in the One who promises to provide all of my needs. And, there is always something I can be thankful for in the midst of it all.
As for the couples I know that are divorcing, IN these awful situations I have found a fresh appreciation for my husband and our relationship. He has shown a special care for me over the last several weeks, I think to demonstrate and assure me of his love and commitment. And, I have found ways to show him how much he means to me. We have both sought out ways to spend time together and appreciate one another.
I'm disappointed that I wasn't able to find any sea glass on our vacation. But, IN this, I am glad that people aren't littering glass on the shore. (Then I realized, we don't use much glass any more; most everything is packaged and bottled in plastic.) It feels like the end of an era of treasure hunting by the sea!
Do you have an 'IN everything' story? I would love to hear about it. I know these testimonies will encourage us in our relationship with Christ and walk through the times of trial.
My you sense His provision IN everything today,