The Perfect Shell
In 2019 George and I went to the beach with our son, daughter in-law, and two grandsons. One early morning, as I was walking alone on the beach, I found the perfect shell. I couldn't wait to get back to the room and give it to our grandsons. I sat for a while and just listened to the ocean and waves lapping up on the shore. This is my favorite time with God and I love listening to Him speak through this beautiful setting. The words "give away" and "go", kept coming into my thoughts. I knew in time God would show me what they meant and I asked Him to make sure I knew the meaning and listened.
After a while a little girl who was walking with her mom, came up to me and asked if I had a crab in my bucket. I told her no, it was just my cell phone and a shell I had found. She said, "Okay!" and without even looking, ran off ahead of her mom. That's when God said, "Give her the shell." I thought, "No, this is for the boys." but I knew God was saying, "Give it to her." After a while of wrestling with these thoughts, I got up and grabbing my bucket, started running after the mom and the little girl. When I caught up to them, I reached in my bucket, pulling out the perfect shell, and asked the little girl if she would like it. She looked me in the eyes and with the biggest grin said, "That is exactly what I was looking for!"
I had thought of every excuse why I shouldn't give the shell to the little girl, "the mom might think it weird", "the little girl will probably break it", "she won't even care", "the boys would really like it", "is this really God speaking or just your crazy thoughts?", but as soon as the little girl took the shell from my hand, I knew I had done the right thing. She immediately ran into the water and washed the shell off, and me, being me, was afraid the waves would knock her down or she would let go of the shell and lose it. That's when God gently spoke again, "It doesn't matter what she does with it, that's up to her, it only matters that you were obedient and gave it away."
Sometimes we don't understand why God is asking certain things of us. Sometimes it doesn't make any sense at all, but God knows. All we are responsible to do is listen and obey.
I would like to think that somewhere in a young girl's room, there is a "perfect shell" sitting on her dresser and she remembers the time a strange woman chased her and her mom down the beach to give her that "perfect shell". Well, probably not the case, but I can imagine, right?
2 Corinthians 9:7: You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don't give reluctantly or in response to pressure. 'For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.'