If there is one thing my oldest daughter loves to do at the beach, its collect seashells. She loves seeing all the different types of shells and colors and textures. We usually come back with at least one big sand bucket full of them. On our most recent beach trip, I noticed that most of the shells she was collecting were broken ones. I picked up a few here and there and suggested the beautiful whole shells be the ones we take back with us. But she was insistent that we keep collecting the broken ones.
“Honey,” I said as she added yet another piece of a shell to our bucket, “why do you keep only picking up the broken ones? There are plenty of whole shells around.” “Because…I just love them mom,” she said as she added a bright purple piece to our pile.
She went on collecting more shells. Piece by piece she picked them up and examined them, smiled and tossed them into her bucket. It was as if she didn’t see any flaws or chips. There was no shell too broken or wasted. She only saw beauty.
I let the ocean water run over my toes and I squinted as I peered out into the never ending blue water. This must be how God feels about us, I thought. You see friend, you and I are much like those shells lying on the beach. Over time, some of us have gotten a few chips in our shell. We may even have a couple of holes in us. Some of us feel shattered and unable to be pieced back together.
But God doesn’t see the flaws or chips in us. He only sees the beauty.
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
I don’t know what you’re facing today, but I do know that at some point the enemy is going to whisper a lie to you. I don’t know what his form of attack will be. Maybe he will whisper that you are not good enough. Or that you have heard God wrong. That no one cares, or worse, that God doesn’t care. Maybe he will whisper that something is all your fault or that you’ll never get it right.
He’s going to do his best to remind you over and over again that you are like one of those broken shells lying on the beach. Unworthy. Unusable. Not good enough. He’ll weasel his way in and whisper to your heart, what can God do with you? So if and when that time comes today I want you to close your eyes, take a deep breath, and mutter these words friend:
“Jesus already settled this at the cross.”
Because friend? He did. He has already covered your shame. Your doubts. Your fears. Your failures. Your brokenness. The enemy has absolutely no power over Him!
You are never too broken for God to use. You are never too much or not enough. Your life is never wasted. You don’t need to have it all together to serve God or be used by Him. He uses our brokenness to draw others towards Him and to bring Him glory.
Jesus already settled this at the cross.
You say those words as many times as you need to today, and then you turn around and you encourage someone else to do the same. Because somewhere out there today you’ll encounter someone who needs to know that they are loved. They are cherished. That God can use their brokenness and that He has a unique and special plan for them.
Don’t be afraid of your brokenness. We all have brokenness in some way and God will use each of us in different ways. Sweet friend, I pray that no matter how hard things can seem at times, you know Jesus has you covered and that you are never too broken for Him. He loves you. He cares for you unconditionally. He values you and wants to use you. He wants to make you whole in Him.