Sea Glass and Sanctification

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything.

A lot has happened in the past year. College graduation (what?), job hunting (double what?), and entering the work world for the first time as a bonafide adult (triple what?).

Well, I don’t know about the bonafide adult part yet, but we’ll see.

Anyways, I’ve been thinking about writing. Therein lies the problem…I’ve been thinking about it, and not doing it!

As I sat pondering, trying to come up with…something, my thoughts turned to sea glass.

Although I have never been a sea glass hunter, the occasional bits I find on the beach (usually a whitish color) pique my curiosity. Where did they come from? How old are they?

What sorts of stories could these teeny pieces of glass tell?

As aforementioned, I am not a sea glass expert. So, I turned to — you guessed it — Google for some insights.

Bytheseajewlery.com offered some helpful information:

Worn by waves, recycled by the sea, sea glass is a product of both nature and man. Bottles, jars and glass carelessly discarded are tumbled by the ocean to form these colorful gems of the shore. … Sea Glass is reverse gem. Traditional gems (diamonds, rubies, emeralds) are made by nature and refined by man. Sea glass is originally made by man (bottles and jars) but refined by nature to become smooth frosty beach found gems.

Sea glass is, quite literally, battered into beauty. Think of it — a small piece is worth much more than the bottle it originally was a part of. It is valuable because it has endured so much.

Never before had I thought that sea glass and sanctification have so much in common.

When someone comes to Jesus for the first time, he or she is justified — made right with God — through Jesus’s sacrifice  on the cross and triumphant resurrection from the grave three days later.

And quite soon thereafter begins the process of sanctification — the process of being made into the image of God’s Son: Jesus (2 Cor. 3:18, 2 Cor. 4:16). To be sanctified literally means “to be set apart.”

According to the creation narrative in Genesis 2, God created man and woman complete. In Eden, Adam and Eve lived in perfect communion with God and with each other.

But when Adam and Eve decided to purposefully disobey God’s instructions (see Gen. 3:1-6), their relationship with God was severed. No longer could they “walk with God in the cool of the day” (Gen. 3:8). Unholiness could not dwell with holiness.

Many years later, when Jesus began his public ministry in Jerusalem, he began telling people how they could have their relationship with God restored.

He was the way (John 14:6).

Jesus endured the most brutalizing, humiliating death imaginable. He was stripped naked, beaten beyond recognition, and publicly executed: hung on a cross between two criminals.

The Apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:21:

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (ESV)

Originally created pure, humanity became tainted by sin — the desire to live independently of God. Through Jesus, humanity is made pure again.

Sea glass is created by relentless grinding, pounding, scraping and exposure to the sun.

Sometimes, this is what the Christian life feels like. Yes, Jesus promises his followers abundant life (John 10:10), and complete joy (John 15:11; 16:24), but he does not promise that life on earth will always be easy.

King David, a psalmist and a man after God’s own heart (1 Sam. 13:14; Acts 13:22) wrote these words thousands of years ago:

Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves
 have gone over me. -Psalm 42:7 (ESV)

Here, David laments his sufferings, feeling that the very hand of God is against him.

I found the nautical imagery here to be intriguing, so I turned to my friend Matthew Henry to see what he had to say about it (*Note: Matthew Henry has long gone home to glory. He is merely my friend in the literary sense).

Henry writes:

He [David] was overpowered and overwhelmed with a deluge of grief, like that of the old world, when the windows of heaven were opened and the fountains of the great deep were broken up. Or it is an allusion to a ship at sea in a great storm, tossed by the roaring waves, which go over it. Whatever waves and billows of affliction go over us at any time we must call them God’s waves and his billows, that we may humble ourselves under his mighty hand, and may encourage ourselves to hope that though we be threatened we shall not be ruined; for the waves and billows are under a divine check. The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of these many waters. Let not good men think it strange if they be exercised with many and various trials, and if they come thickly upon them; God knows what he does, and so shall they shortly.

Our sufferings are not pleasant, no. But neither are they futile. Instead, they make us look more like Jesus.

Because day by day, we are being ground, pounded and scraped into the image of the Son.

Just like sea glass.

SIDE NOTE:

If you are interested in purchasing some unique sea glass jewelry, check out Border’s Beach Shop @ https://www.etsy.com/shop/BordersBeachShop. (I’m not the owner, just a fan!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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