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  • Writer's pictureBeth Hildebrand

Grab A Heaping Handful -God Only Knows: Day 5


Even though it was the middle of February, I was glad to be at the beach.  It was a girls weekend.  There were six of us who had been looking forward to this get-away for a long time to reconnect with each other’s and laugh a lot.

Soon after we got there, I wanted to get my feet in the sand and see the beauty of the seashore.

Even though a storm was brewing.

I was a little disheartened because I was hoping for a sunny day with blue sky and puffy clouds.  At least it was unusually warm for a winter day.  The wind was not a constant, gently breeze like a usual summer day, either.  Instead, it whipped and almost howled. The clouds were low and dark.

That threat didn’t stop me though.  As soon as my feet hit the shore, my shoes came off and my feet and toes sighed with joy as they disappeared under the sand.  It had been two years since I’d done that and it felt so cool, smooth, almost satin-like sand in between my toes.  As I continued to walk towards the water, the sand became a little rougher because there were tiny, very fine broken shells mixed in with the silky sand.  Then even closer to the ocean, where the sand was wet, lay seashell after seashell -hundreds piled on top of others.  Some were standing alone.  Some broken.  Some whole.  Some beautiful.  Some ugly-beautiful.

Because the storm was approaching, the wind had picked up and it was pushing me forward while I was trying to resist it.  I was trying to have a relaxing walk on the beach with my friend!  It didn’t take long for me to be bracing against the wind and my toes clutched in the sand keeping a grip so I wouldn’t fall.  Our hair blew around our head and neck and into our face and eyes.  Looking behind me, I suddenly saw bands of white-sand reaching from the ground to several feet above our heads, racing towards us.  Kind of baffled having never seen this before, before I could react, I began to feel sharp, prickly, very tiny pellets hitting my neck, arms, and ankles.  It was hundreds of tiny, minute grains of sand and it did not feel comfortable; it made my skin sting.

We tried to bear it and walk a little further because we were determined to enjoy the beach gosh darn it!  We were like the dedicated surfers out in the ocean because it’s not every day the waves swell and rise that high.

But we had to turn around.

The wind tried to push us back the other way.  We had to lean forward hard to make any gain as we walked.  As we braved the wind and headed back, I once again heard the wind blow louder and louder.  It was a strange feeling because at the same moment the sand felt like silk in between my toes yet over top of my feet – at the same time – it felt as if there were hundreds of sharp pieces of tiny, tiny glass being thrown at my ankles, arms and face.

It made me turn my head to the side to keep sand from getting into my eyes but I wanted to see what was happening though.  I wanted to witness the amazing strength of wind.  I wanted to behold the beauty of a high, band of sand that stretches for yards running down the coastline.

I wanted to see and feel the awe of God’s power.

Several swift bands of sand moved one after another when the wind came strong.  The long band reached from the dunes to the beginning of the wet sand with a forceful rush forward.  It swirled right around us and then blew all the way down the shore until it was no longer visible.

It amazes me to think, to feel, to see how strong a minute grain of sand can be.

Isn’t God like that?  He’s calming like smooth sand under your feet and refreshes the soul that makes us sigh with gratitude for His mercies and blessings.  Yet, like sand, He can also grab our attention in ways we weren’t expecting, in ways that aren’t comfortable or aren’t the way we want things to be.   But like the beach, even though there are beautiful days and days of storms, I still enjoy being at the beach.  Even though there are good days and ones that are not as good, God is the same, never-changing, almighty God in whom I want to be in His Presence.

God knows His vastness and speaks about grains of sand to Jeremiah.   “I will make the descendants of David my servant and the Levites who minister before me as countless as the stars of the sky and as measureless as the sand on the seashore.” (Jeremiah 33:22)

God says the grains of sand are measureless.  Countless.


Can you just imagine?   You’re on the beach and you grab a heaping handful of sand.  When you look closely at each grain of sand, you know you wouldn’t be able to count each individual grain.  You’d go crazy!  And just think – that’s just a handful.  Think of all the sand on the seashore just as far as you can see!  Then think of each grain within a few miles radiance.

Seashores surround each continent and island on this big planet.  And when I think of it, there’s sand underneath the vast world ocean that takes up almost two-thirds of this planet.  Research says the Earth’s global ocean – the continuous body of water – is the largest confirmed surface of ocean on all observable planets, approximately 71% of the planet’s surface.  You know when the sand had been out in the sunshine, it dries and can be seen as individual grains.  You cannot see that when the sand is wet but just think if it dried, how many more grains there would be!

And then there’s deserts…

It’s measureless, countless, infinite.   That’s difficult to grasp, yet, God loves us that much and more.

In Psalm 139:18 David praises God and says,

“How amazing are Your thoughts concerning me!

How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand…

Thank God for every grain of sand…and that’s not even close to how much He thinks about you.

Thank God for His immeasurable love.

Thank God for places like the beach to remind of us of that promise.

Thank God for the remnants.

Two days later, before we had to leave… Well, come back to my blog tomorrow where I’ll continue telling you the rest of this beach experience.

 {If you’d like to read more of the God Only Knows series, come on over here}

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