Thursday, September 2, 2010

I Came Home With Thousands In My Car

A couple weeks ago, I spent the day at the beach with my family. We had a blast building a sand castle, collecting shells, and playing in the water. The weather was great and the beach was empty, making for some wonderful family time. As we got ready to leave, we were faced with the dilemma that every beach goer faces...sand! Trying hard to bring home as little of the beach as we possibly could, we wiped, we washed, and we tried every creative way we could to get as much sand off of us as was humanly possible. Satisfied that we had exhausted every possible way known to man to remove the sand, we loaded up. When I looked at the floor board under my feet, I noticed that apparently all of my attempts to rid myself of the sand were pretty much failures. There was sand everywhere. What's crazy is when I got home it seemed like that sand had multiplied over the course of our travel time. I've since had the car cleaned, but I'm pretty sure some remnants remain.

Now, if you've ever been to the beach, I'm sure you can relate. It is absolutely impossible to go to the beach and hangout for a few hours and get back into the car without bringing some sand with you. While we were in Galveston, I noticed just across the the street from the beach some landscaping guys with their high powered blowers trying to clean a parking lot. Sand was flying everywhere. I thought to myself, what a futile fight. I'm pretty sure you can go to Galveston and not even visit the actual beach and still somehow come home with sand in your hair, and in your car. Everywhere you look and everywhere you go in a beach town like that, there's sand. As you walk on the beach and look there is literally miles and miles of sand.

My recent experience with all that sand reminds me of a verse in Genesis where God is making a promise to Abraham. In Genesis 22:17, God tells Abraham that He is going to multiply his descendants as the sand that is on the seashore. Reading that with this beach experience fresh in my mind, makes me step back and say, "Are you kidding me?" "That's amazing!" God, is telling Abraham, who is now over 100 years old, that through his one son Isaac, the number of his descendants will one day rival the amount of sand on the seashore. Now, I'm not sure if God is speaking of all seashores combined or one in particular, but I'm thinking either will do.

God is telling Abraham that his descendants will be innumerable. While at the beach we played in the sand. We picked up handfuls of sand. We built a castle out of sand. I buried my feet in the sand. Just the amount of sand that we personally encountered would take lifetimes to count if we separated every single grain of sand. And to think that those grains of sand represent Abraham's descendants is pretty amazing. What's equally amazing to me is the fact that from the beginning of time, God's enemy, the devil has tried to thwart God's plan and this sand is a constant reminder of what an utter failure he is. God's promise to Abraham is to this day continuing to be fulfilled and nothing the devil can do can prevent that from happening.

Isaac was a miracle baby. And from that moment until now and on into the future, God's promises are true. God will not come up short concerning anything He has promised. Without going into some deep theological dissertation here, I understand Scripture to declare that through Christ, I have become the spiritual seed of Abraham. That being said, I can't help but think one of those grains of sand represent me. As I sit here thinking about that, its a bit mind boggling. Thousands of years before I was ever born, when God promised Abraham that his descendants would be like the sand on the seashore, He was including me in that count. He was including my friends and family members. Those of us who represent the seed of Abraham, are all a part of God fulfilling His promise. Not sure about you, but when I think about it that way, I am so glad God is One who keeps His promises.

I'm not sure how many grains of sand we came home with following our adventure at the beach. I'm sure it was thousands, perhaps tens of thousands. While our Chevy Trailblazer normally rides 6 comfortably, I can't help but picture the thousands that fit in it that day. I'm wondering who all rode home with us that day. Was it saints of old, or perhaps some who are yet to come? Whoever they represented, one thing is for certain, there are literally billions more out there, for our God is a God who keeps His promises.

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