There I find peace and contentment, even though many excited children scatter over the exposed tide pool rocks. They scurry about like little hermit crabs—and I hear them in the distance giggle and squeal with delight at the various found treasures.
The waves are washing the beach clean, and erasing the markings of footprints with the ease of an overturned and shaken Etch-A-Sketch. I am lost in the picture perfect moment.
The moment is interrupted by my niece as she nudges for my attention. Her excitement jars me as she exclaims that we are standing on a MILLION seashells. In my haze of tranquility, I casually tell her that “yes, the beach sand is crushed up rocks and shells.”
Frustrated by my lack of interest, she says “Noooo, Aunt Sherry, look!” Pointing down at our feet. I look down and initially don’t see what she is referring to. She bends down and urges that I take a look closer. So I lower myself down for a closer view.
The ground magnifies and I realize the area of beach we are standing on IS a million little tiny seashells; most hardly bigger than a swollen grain of rice. I begin scooping up the shells by the handful, running my fingers over the fine smooth texture. Inspecting the contents in my hand, I marvel at the complexity of each little individual shell. No two appear to be exactly alike. Each has a small variance in color and design.
We stood on that bed of vacated sea-homes. Sea snail shells perfectly swirled with colors of brown, beige, white, red, purple and black. The care of design and detail in these tiniest of shells was nothing short of magnificent.
Standing on that beach, at that time, my soul knew this diversity with unity could not have been made by chance. Things this complex and perfect and unique by the MILLIONS take a keen attention to detail.
I couldn’t imagine the level of engineering that went into making land, molten earth and vast seas stay separated. All while care and detail was given to tiny sea snail shells. Everywhere I look, each part of this planet plays a purpose; and often I get so caught up in the big picture that I lose focus on the amazing small details.
WHEN IT’S EASY
The world, and stars, and design are far too amazing and great to think these things accidental. It makes it easier to have faith that there is a big giant God that made everything. Earth, animals, and people—our intricacies and amazing bodies make it easy for most to know there is a Great Creator. A God unlike anything we know.
For myself, I honestly cannot doubt—for one single moment—in God, His work, His creation. Man is too radically different from other living things to assume we are just a higher level of amoeba. Our souls—so unique and special as image-bearers of God—it’s what separates us from every other living thing.
But the truth is, sometimes I do have doubt on a spiritual level.
WHEN IT’S NOT EASY
When waves of doubt come over me, I doubt that God would want to take time out of His clearly busy schedule and seek a personal relationship with me.
When waves of doubt come crashing, I doubt that my thoughts and prayers are listened to on an individual basis.
And I have to wonder: do I really matter as much as those little small insignificant sea snail shells? As I dig deep into my brain for reasoning, I sit in quiet puzzlement and wonder.
How can that be?
How can it be true?
I am one of six billion people on this little blue planet in a vast stretching universe. How can I be heard? How is my name known? I simply can’t wrap my mind around it. And because I can’t make logical sense of it, sadly, I can have doubt.
I’m a thinker. Over-thinker. I need to make logic from illogical. When I let those moments of doubt linger, it hurts my head. Thoughts of doubt fester and I find myself sitting in the moment longer than I should. I keep thinking of my doubt and attempting to make sense of the things I can’t comprehend. All while I venture further and further into the depths of that dark cave called doubt. Without light or guide.
When I’ve let myself go into this scary place of questioning I fear how I’ll come out. The darkness settles around me and I hate being in this place alone. My soul cries. It’s then, like a beacon in the night hope appears. A light–faint and distant is there. It is what I call “heart-light.” It’s when my mind gives up, my soul weeps, and I let my heart take over the darkness in my mind.
I give in to what I know to be true in my heart—in the depths of my soul—regardless of what my mind can’t resolve.
WONDER OF WIND
As I make my way out of the dark cave I realize my doubt is like any other wonder of the world. Many wonders and how they came to be, my mind cannot grasp.
Like the wind. I cannot understand where it originates from—it just becomes. Or the simple fact that I cannot see wind—yet I see the effect it has in clouds and the rustling leaves in a tree. I can see patterns of smoke in the air and smell a wafting fragrance of burning wood carried by the wind. I can see the birds soar, without expending energy, as they effortlessly ride the wind’s invisible currents.
But the wind itself, I cannot see. My lack of seeing and understanding do not diminish my belief that the wind is there. My lack of comprehension will never reduce the awesome strength of wind formed into hurricanes and tornadoes.
The wind helps my heart-light to remind me. I believe in God like I believe in wind. I cannot understand how God does what He does…but the proof of nature outweighs the doubt.
RETURN TO THE BEACH
Back on the beach, the wind tousles my hair, it’s the touch of God that sends me reeling back into the present. The birds take off in flight and swirl the edge of the surf on soft lofty breezes. My niece gallops along the sand, whipping a piece of seaweed in the wind like a sea princess ridding her horse on the beach.
The wind is present and my heart-light tells me God is there. I smile and silently say, “thank You for the wonders of it all.” And without doubt—in that moment—I’m certain He’s looking right at me, speaking my name, and hearing every word I say.