Tag Archives: rewards

Glass Beach

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MaryMy friend Mary and I have a shared hobby.  We both love to collect sea glass.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with sea glass, it is pieces of broken bottles and glass that have been rubbed smooth by the surf and sand.  Blue sea glass is especially rare.  By walking up and down a stretch of beach and paying close attention to the bits of shells and flotsam, sometimes a beach comber is rewarded with a pretty piece of glass.

I did not grow up near a beach, so I never knew how much I loved the ocean until I moved within a 90 minute drive of a coastline.  However, Mary grew up in California.  Recently she discovered a beach that is famous for it’s sea glass.  For both of us, the beach is our happy place, our place to walk with Jesus.  The beach has the power to renew a weary soul, and it is special to find a souvenir of sea glass.

As much as I like sea glass, I think God must look down on my foolish collecting of trash and shake his head in Fatherly bewilderment that I would find bits of broken glass to be treasures.  When my sister was little she collected bits of moss and leaves in a dresser drawer.  My parents weren’t thrilled with this, but they didn’t stop her.  Her childish treasures were of great value to her though they just looked like dirt to the rest of us.

It’s probably the same with my sea glass.  From his Heavenly city made of precious stones and pearls where people walk along on streets of gold, God looks down on Mary and me walking up and down a strip of sand searching for broken beer bottles and he just shakes his head and smiles.  “Just wait until you see what I have for you up here in Heaven,” he’s probably thinking.  Our little treasures really are trash.

sea glassThis makes me think about our spiritual treasures.  The things that we value and treasure- the way we conduct our lives here on Earth- may end up being nothing but a pile of hay and stubble once we get to Heaven and see what things have true eternal value.  The endeavours and pursuits to which we have given our lives will all come under scrutiny.  Everything will be tested by fire.  What looked sparkly and pretty here on Earth might end up being worth nothing.  It might just serve to feed the fire.

Only things done for God will last.  Only pure motives will survive the scorching heat of the Refiner’s Fire.  The Apostle Paul essentially said, “When I think about all the great things I have accomplished, I consider them nothing but trash compared with the immeasurable honor of knowing and serving God.”  All our great accomplishments are nothing but a handful of sea glass compared to serving the Lord.

It will be worth it…

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If you genuinely believe that something will be “worth it” you can push through a lot of hardship, you can endure a lot of pain.  Take exercise, for example.  Many people struggle with their DESIRE to exercise.  Trainers will tell you, “you don’t have to LIKE it, you just have to DO it.”  And I hear, when you push through that mental block and Just Do It… you get your own Nike commercial.  Just kidding.  What do they say?  They say, “it will be worth it.”

All this dieting will be worth it when you can fit into those skinny jeans.  All those mornings of exercise will be worth it when swim suit season comes.  All those hours of hitting the pavement will be worth it when you cross the finish line of your first marathon.  Whatever the goal, it will be worth it when you achieve what you are striving for.

Paul says that the hard things we go through here in life are like “light and momentary trials” compared with what is to come.  We must keep our eyes on the prize in order to keep things in perspective.  Our goal is to run the race well, our prize is Jesus.  We keep our eyes fixed on the prize, and one day it will be worth it all.

I am sure that Jesus felt that giving up his throne in heaven to be born into a pain filled, uncomfortable human body was somehow worth it.  It was a very uneven exchange, to say the least.  But he had his eye on the prize.  He felt that dying a horrific death on the cross was worth it in the grand scheme of things.  We were worth it, to him.  Sometimes we marvel at that assessment of things, we don’t feel like we were worth all that.  But God did.  He has no regrets about going through all that for us.  He says it was worth it all.  And we just have to take his word on that.

In language school, a missionary will spend hour and hours memorizing verb conjugations and tenses.  He memorizes many notebooks full of vocabulary in the language he is studying.  He holds on to the belief that one day, all this practice, all this memorization, all this humiliation and brokenness will be worth it all.  One day, these strange sounds coming out of his mouth will make sense to someone and will cause someone to open their heart to Jesus.  One day, all this investment will be worth it all.

I have an obsession.  I think about heaven all the time.  I am like a kid waiting for Christmas day.  I am giddy at the thought that one day all this *crap* that we deal with here on earth will be over.  One day I will look around and find myself walking on some heavenly shore with my beloved Jesus.  I will look around me and know with deep satisfaction that it was indeed worth it all.

Someday it will be worth it all.  What other kinds of things are “worth it” to you?