Sand Castles

Have you ever built a sandcastle? Chances are that the answer is “Yes”. Whether you were a kid, playing on the beach, or a parent, whose kid was asking them to help build a huge sandcastle – you probably have built your share of the temporary masterpiece. It is so fun to let go of all cares, sink to your knees, on the scratchy sand, and dig away. If you were like me, your castle had to have a moat, and little “pathways” for extra water to come in. The funny thing was, I would dig the sand and form the castle with my dad, and have my younger, kid sister, running back and forth to the water’s edge with her bucket in hand, filling it to the brim. I would tell her to hurry, then watch her run back, losing half of the water on the way. We would keep pouring water around the castle, only to watch it sink into the sand and dry up. Then, before long, the tide would come in, and all our effort and hard work would wash away, leaving nothing but the memory we had of making it. 

Life is often like the sandcastles I made as a child. We get in such a rush to build something up, that we lose sight of the experience itself. We run around, “building” our proverbial sandcastles – a bigger home, better position with our job, more money, relationship/marriage, nicer car…. but before we know it, we have lost years of our life, striving for something that never seems to be what we hoped, until eventually, everything we worked so hard for, is washed away. Only then do we stop and realize our children are grown, our marriage failed, our parents passed away, we retired – and we never enjoyed life as it was, in the present moment. We hope for things we know we’ll never have. We wish for things we WANT to have. We pray for things we cannot have. We buy things we shouldn’t have. We mourn things we didn’t have. All the while, we waste things we DO have – by not enjoying them while we are able. Time stops for no one, and we will never, ever again, have THIS time, right now.

Embrace, love, cherish, appreciate it while you can. My best friend sent me something I want to share. It really was what I needed to hear, the day she sent it. Maybe it will help you, the way it helped me. “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists…” Hebrews 11:6 (NIV) 

Have you ever wanted something so badly your heart ached with each thought of it? It seems life would be so much better if you had that. There would be more happiness. More contentment. More fulfillment. More satisfaction. More peace. We can envision ourselves with this thing, this person, this opportunity. And all things are better. So, why doesn’t God give us this longing of our heart? Because He wants us to willingly release it to Him. Ouch. Not the answer we want. Why would God let the aching desire linger and not make things happen? He could. He’s certainly able. But when He doesn’t it seems unfair. Not good. Confusing. It’s easy to get down when we’re constantly let down. We hope this thing will happen… we’ll meet this right person… we’ll get this job… we’ll finally be healed… we’ll get that chance… we’ll see that family member turn their life around. Time and again it doesn’t happen. That’s when it’s easy to slip. We can so easily slip into feeling a little distant from God because we feel hurt by God. As an offering of trust, we must give up that which could so easily bring us down. Not give up as in discouraged surrender. But give up as in placing this desire in the hand of God and saying, “Either way, I will see Your answer as the good answer and walk in trust.” Sometimes I get so consumed with seeking my unmet longings, I don’t earnestly seek Him. But then I miss out on His reward. And His reward is the only thing that will fill the void in my heart. Yes, I still struggle with unmet desires. But not as much today as I did yesterday. And that is good. Not easy. But good. Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Probers 31 Ministries)

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