‘If there is anything hidden about our message, it is hidden only to someone who is lost.” II Corinthians 4:3 NIV
Have you ever gone to the beach and found mounds of shells, only to go back a week later, and find that the tide has changed and all the shells are lost to sea? The shore is now almost completely devoid of shells.
We passionately pick up the few whole shells we see and lovingly rescue them. We can see how they got caught up in the seaweed as the tide came in, but amazingly they’re not lost yet. We can readily see broken ones, also, and we set out to rescue them, too. Remember, we know the “Broken-Shell-Repair-Man.” Don’t cry because they’re broken. Rejoice, because they’re not completely lost yet. Just bring them to Jesus.
There will always be rocks, dirt, debris, and obstacles in our way. Try to walk around carefully to find a way to help them not get dragged out with the raging surf. Wait for the flowing, cleansing waters to wash over them and when the tides goes out, we can see our solid ground. Our next step? Imagine the beauty, even the broken ones can have, when they’re fixed and whole again.
Save them from being lost, rescue those entangled in seaweed. Keep them from being stepped on and dried out in the sun. They’re fading. Shine Jesus’ life-giving light on their lives before it’s too late. Society has worn them down. They’re discouraged and in despair. We know the answer, we know the “Broken-Lives Repair-Man.” We’ve had His Living Water wash over us. We’ve had Him light our way. The dictionary says, “Lost” means “not to be found, ruined.” The Bible says, “…I have wandered away like a lost sheep. Please come after me…” Psalms 119:176 NIV
Seek, grab hold of, hunt down, pick up, and find. The Christian calling is this. Like a day at the beach!
God’s waiting for us to show the way to Jesus and His Holy Spirit. Gather people up, stay with them, and bring them home to Jesus, where wholeness lives. No longer broken. You can ask people how they got broken? Or Why? But, what’s the point, they probably don’t know. No one means for it to happen. No one grows up thinking, “I’d like to make a mess of my life.” It’s the enemy’s the plan, not theirs, but we know the remedy. Their seasons change, the tide turns on them, they don’t even know how or why they got broken, they just know that it hurts. They’re helpless, because only more brokenness surrounds them. It’s time for repair. Restoration. Wholeness. Useful purpose.
All we really want to know is, “Will they let Jesus fix them as only He can?”
Should we be looking for blessings in the debris? No!
Dig in, get messy, get dirty, we’re trying to rescue souls from hell. It will get hot on that beach. It’s the enemy’s job to try to scorch us, burn us, and entangle us with cares, junk, messes, and hard times. So…do it anyway, pick up the broken pieces at work, at school, at play, wherever we go. It’s not going to be all glitter and glamour.
Are we looking for beautiful shiny objects in the debris and seaweed? Are we looking for comfort and relaxation among the pointed, jagged rocks? Have we ever found a blessing while scrounging in a garbage dumpster? Not likely. Or located something precious and valuable among old, dirty, disgusting, worn-out, and broken items? Maybe some gold jewelry, money, etc? Again, not likely. And if we did, its value wasn’t readily noticeable at first. We had to pick it up, look it over, clean it up, and repair it to it’s lost beauty.
That’s what God’s does…it’s His job and He does it well. Doing God’s rescue work does bring blessings to us, because we’re obedient to His calling, but don’t look for the blessings, or even any appreciation, from the broken and messed up. Those who do, pass up God’s creations looking for the shiny, glittering, glitzy prize. That’s their reward. Ours is in Heaven.
What family members, friends, neighbors, and co-workers, will be lost forever, if not found before it’s too late? Don’t think it’s all blessing to work in Children’s Ministry? Teen Ministry? Hurting Women’s Ministry? Or the “Rise-Up-Strong-Men” Ministry.
God needs to disentangle the debris, bag up the baggage, set the issues straight. It takes time. Don’t do it to find the blessing or reward. You’ll get that from the Lord.
Has anything ever hurt us, bit us, pricked us, or stung us while we were hunting for shells on the beach? Has it stopped us? No, if we love shelling, we go on, as with anything we’re passionate about. The enemy will always try to stop us. Be unstoppable. Keep going and keep doing it. Seaweed is choking them. Things that choke us, take our breath away. Allow the Lord to breath on them again with His Holy Spirit.
God sees beauty in their brokenness. Go deeper. Find the hidden beauty buried. Remember, God saw the beauty in our brokenness.
Shells don’t just drift; they crash and break when they’re churned up constantly in the surf. The more rocky the landscape, the more broken shells. The more rocky the environment, the more broken lives. Drifting lives will eventually crash. Show them the safe haven; help them become the one that was found.