While our family is away on vacation, I spent last Sunday morning at the beach. It’s the kind of Sabbath I don’t do often. In fact the last time I did was 3 years ago. While I was there, I walked down the water’s edge and looked at all the people. I breathed a prayer for each of them while thinking of my own church family. I stopped at a group of people who were building sandcastles. It hit me, these people are no different than me. Everyone of us are building sandcastles: some are intricate and detailed while others are simply just trying to avoid the crashing waves. Eventually, though, the water comes…taking what we’ve built and turning it into a pile of wet sand. It can feel…frustrating.
Pardon me if I’m a bit introspective. We came to Florida to see Keri’s parents and grandmother, a relaxing time of eating too much and trying to laugh, even through the difficult circumstances. My father in law is battling cancer. My in laws have given their entire lives to sharing the gospel. It’s a bit hard to see him struggle to find the strength to get up and just sit in the living room with us. It drives him crazy because he doesn’t slow down very well. But the chemo and radiation have forced him to stop. I also know that his life, and even his sickness, is just another sandcastle, another story to share.
The doctors, nurses, technicians, fellow chemo patients and countless others are seeing Jesus in the way my in laws are choosing to live out this season. But even this season will be washed away by the water. I keep telling him, “There is a beyond …this. It will not last.”
Eventually the water rushes over all of us and everything we’ve done. We want our lives to count for something. I want you to make the most of your journey. As you build your sand castle today, remember that there are people walking beside the water’s edge looking at what you’ve created. What will they see? Selfishness? Frustration? Greed? Disease? Or will they see faithfulness to God in all circumstances?
Thanks for praying for our family.
Building sandcastles with you…
‘Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.’ – Hebrews 10:23
Matt Hastings lives with his wife Keri and their five children in Tullahoma, Tennessee. He is the pastor of the Estill Springs Church of the Nazarene. [Editor’s Note: Matt has graciously allowed us to republish his weekly email devotionals on our site for our readers.]