The Mystery of Sand. Bahamian Church Experiences, Part 2

If you are a visitor to a beautiful tropical island, it is soft and delightful to your feet.

If you are stuck in the middle of the Sahara Desert without water or transportation however, it becomes dreadful and depressing!

But wait a minute…what does sand have to do with a Christmas devotional?

Well, to be honest, for those who live in the southern hemisphere, the only "white Christmas" they ever experience is laying on the white sands of their beaches! Christmas finds them just at the beginning of their summer season! While those of us who live in the Northern hemisphere are freezing to death, they are lounging in the sun!

Getting back to our topic: Sand… Humm… I am a major fan of sand. Unfortunately, my wife is not. The differences lies in the fact that I had the luxury of being born on a coastal outlet, where sand and sea were a part of everyday life. It became part of my blood, and I will always feel the sea drawing me with a force that is irresistible. My wife, on the other hand, must be part mountain goat, as she would far rather climb a mountain than lounge on the beach!

If you have the opportunity to examine a grain of sand, you will notice that every one looks different. Some are coloured, others are not. Some are tiny, others are more voluminous, and together they are irresistible.

One grain of sand however, if left by itself, is at the mercy of shifting winds and tides. No stability and no steady home for it, ever! One year it might be covered with snow during Christmas season, and the next it may be trampled by the running feet of those bearing surfboards and heading for the enticing Australian waves! Constancy will never be the norm of that grain of sand! No, it is destined to lead a life of excessive adventure and tribulation. Imagine being swallowed up by a huge fish, and being slowly digested in its yucky stomach, and finally to find itself rejected through less-than-pretty means!

When grains of sand are all together however, they are often used to resist the worst hurricanes of the season! Mixed together with pebbles and cast concrete, they form one of the sturdiest building materials in the world, cinder blocks!

I often wondered how Bahamians could survive the damaging effects of weather, as there are no mountains to speak of in the Bahamas. While snorkelling at Love Beach however, I noticed several workmen building a dwelling next door. You should have seen the cinder blocks they used! It looked like it could resist the harshest weather ever. In fact, if I had been able to drive a truck into that wall, full speed, I would have ended up with a bunch of twisted metal, while the wall would have sustained only minimal damage!

You see, unity pays off! With unity you can face the worst trials of life and be victorious! Unconditional unity, which lovingly accepts everyone into their midst, will make us strong beyond imagination! John 17:22-23 "I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." NIV

However just as the sand needs to be mixed with cast concrete to form cinder blocks, unity needs to also be mixed with the Holy Spirit. Only through Him can we find direction and purpose. Only through Him will we be made aware of the dangers that attempt to rob us of our rightful lives!

And only through Him can we ever stay lovingly united! Eph 4:3 "Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." NIV

This is the message Jesus tried to convey us when He came to our planet. His message was clear: "Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:34-35 NIV)

Jesus' purpose was to bring us to God, experience His love and through Him experience true unity. "For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God." (1 Peter 3:18 NIV) Once you have experienced God, you can't stop hungering to spend time alone with Him. Just like natives to the sea long to see their beloved ocean once again, we pant irresistibly to be with God. His love is unbelievable, beyond anyone's expectations!

You want a revolution? You want victorious living? They both go hand in hand. Spend time with God and fall heads over heels in love with the Lover of your soul. Through His guidance you will not only experience victory, but you will also start loving others the way Jesus loves each one of us! Unity will be a natural consequence, and before you know it, your whole neighbourhood will be wondering about the One you serve.

Don't be a single sand grain at the merciless grip of temperamental outside forces. Unite yourself in love with those who are madly in love with God. Let yourself be driven by God's Spirit to make the impossible possible! This is the message of Christmas. The Christ is with us!

What will we do about it?

Sand… so small, but still so majestic! I wonder if it could teach us a lesson or two…

Rob Chaffart

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