Perched atop a wall of immovable rock, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, I watch as my kids create an imaginary world.
Each child sets up shop in a different location, collecting treasures: sea glass, red wood, seaweed, and driftwood.
Their shell currency allows them to conduct commerce amongst themselves while they build and expand their rocky residences.
I’m invited to peruse and shop at my leisure. Soon, I’ve discovered a brilliant excuse to invest in the purchase of driftwood: new curtain rods. Over the course of the afternoon, my living room becomes more personalized as the factory rods are replaced with decorative driftwood.
Later, as I walk through the campground I notice that I am not alone in my driftwood acquisition. Nearly every RV I pass has a stash laying about. In a lifestyle that fosters minimalism, the popularity of this beachside treasure does not escape my notice.
What could be easily overlooked, however, is the inherent pain represented in each piece of wood. Devastating wildfires, followed by substantial rains resulting in fatal mudslides have recently swept through this coastal area. An influx of driftwood debris has ensued.
Birthed from deep devastation and death, a treasure trove has washed ashore.
I’ve witnessed this kind of transmutation. Friends who’ve buried their teenage son are finding shards of beauty in the wake of devastation as they open up their hearts again through adoption.
I’ve experienced it in my own soul as the grief of our stillborn son slowly paved a path to hope and healing and allowed our story to speak of God’s redeeming power.
And as I sit around the campfire, I glimpse the beginning of the process unfolding before me. Parents hopelessly at their wit’s end with their teenage daughter. A couple fighting back fear as they prepare to face tests that could reveal the return of dreaded disease. A family who has recently buried both a brother and a mother.
They are all currently floating in the abyss of the unknown, lost in the waves of uncertainty. However, the One who created the waters and calmed the seas is holding them, directing the tide and determining their destination.
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.” 2 Corinthians 4:7-10
SEA OF SANCTIFICATION
The sea of sanctification serves to refine. We emerge stripped bare—naked and venerable. Who we are has fundamentally changed; yet our redeeming God has not.
In this moment we face a choice: to run toward God or away from Him. Let me beg of you to run toward the One who loves. Anything else only magnifies the pain.
In the arms of our Redeemer, transformation takes place. We who are helpless are made holy and an inner beauty begins to surface. This beauty obtained only through suffering, allows us to resemble Christ who endured the ultimate suffering on our behalf. We who were once drifting, find ourselves lacking nothing.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4
Dear reader, whether you find yourself knee deep in pools of pain or drowning in sorrow, won’t you let me pray over you now? Dear Lord, bend low to hear the cry of the suffering. Find these stranded brothers and sisters on the shore and gather them close to your heart. Whisper Your hope in the language that is best understood by each one. Soften their heart to Your love. Place beneath them the firm foundation of Your Word and before them Your well-lit path. You are the God of miracles. We look to you now and believe that You will act. We trust You. In faith, we believe that one day we will look upon this present pain and find hidden treasure.
-Our beachfront site at Faria Beach was completely dreamy. We watched dolphins from our living room window, explored tidepools feet from our front door, played in the sand just a stone’s throw away and fell asleep to the sound of the surf. If this sounds appealing to you, my friend Jenn wrote a wonderfully informative post outlining the RV options for state beaches in the Ventura area.