©Joy Dunlap https://joydunlap.com

The shell’s beauty and design captured my attention – a work of art laying on the sandy white beach. Almost as big as my hand, the perfectly-shaped scallop with ridges of orange and white was a real find. As I drew closer, I discovered a hole in its center that made it ugly and unwanted.  With so many other better-quality choices, I left it in the sand.

Rough seas from a fierce rainstorm the evening before had spit countless shells onto the shore. As I strolled along the beach that cold, windy morning afterwards, I picked up shell after shell selectively keeping only the best and tossing the others back.

Ones that were broken and chipped – toss.
Ones with holes marring their perfection – toss.
Ones with faded color – toss.
The beautiful one with ugly barnacles clinging to the underside – toss.

My hands could only hold so many. Numerous ones already held a treasured place in my collection. Limited space remained.
As I discarded another – denying it a place in my home – a thought occurred to me. How fortunate I am that God doesn’t do the same. He doesn’t seek the perfect ones – because there are none.

Those who are damaged, broken, or chipped He welcomes.
Those who have holes in their hearts due to pain, loss, grief and suffering He heals.
Those with barnacles and baggage clinging to their insides and outsides, He power-washes.
Those whose energy and faith are fading, He renews.

His hands are never too full – for those who grasp them.
His home is always open – for those who want to enter.

His heart is never too full – for those who desire to be His.  No matter how battered or broken the shells of our lives are.

Got any chips, breaks, or attached barnacles that make you erroneously think you are less loved, less worthy, less wanted? Ask God to pick you up and restore you.

Have you judged someone or tossed someone in your life aside recently?
Who do you know whose light in the Lord – like the shell’s color – may be dimming amidst the harsh weather of the world? How can you encourage them?
What area of your life do you need God to repair today? 

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.           Psalm 147:3-4

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

Life is Better When It’s Full – Joy-full, Thank-full, Purpose-full and Friend-full!

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