A Shell

Recently, I had the chance to take a 24-hour retreat, just me and God.  It’s amazing what God communicates with us, when we are still and turn off all distractions.
It was a precious time of encouragement and direction that closed with a picture that God gave to me as His gift, so that I would remember what I learned.
I looked down at a small patch of sand next to the pond and their were a few shells.
I picked one up and immediately noticed it was empty.
The old had gone.  That shell was part of a mollusks body.  But then it died and some other creature ate the ‘soft’ part of the mollusk that was originally protected by the shell.
All that’s left is the hard protective part.
The new has come.  Water has cleaned the shell so that any dirt or decaying pieces of mollusk has been washed away.  All that remains is a beautiful pattern of colors and patterns and a wide open mouth.
2 Corinthians 5 was the passage God had led me to during this retreat and He showed me so many amazing truths.  Verse 17 says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, He is a new creation; the old things have passed away; the new have come.”
I am a shell.  The shell didn’t do anything to make itself clean.  The waves of the water did that.  Just likes God cleanses us from our sin when we turn from doing things our way, to a life that He guides and directs.
And you know what happened when I dipped that small, beautiful shell in the water?  It overflowed.  It remains wide open so that once it is filled up, any excess flows out of the shell and onto anything that is around it.
God does the same with us as we surrender every area of our life to His leading and His control.  He overflows us with His fruit of the Spirit – those desires inside of us that we try to fulfill with things of this world, but can only be fulfilled by the one who put those desires there – our Maker.
Love
Joy
Peace
Patience
Kindness
Goodness
Gentleness
Faithfulness
Self-control
The shell can’t do anything by itself.  If it tried to clean itself by jumping in the lake, it would either drown or be tossed by the wind and the waves, with no real control of itself.
I am a shell.
You are a shell.
Are you allowing the wind and waves to dictate your course?  Or will you let your Maker clean out the dead parts and wipe off the dirt, and fill you to overflowing?
You will feel more joy and peace and so will those around you!