Recently, I drove to the Lake District with my boyfriend, and we found ourselves at West Shore Beach on Walney Island. The beach was covered with pebbles. I was amazed by them and by how many there were and how different they all were. Seeing so many pebbles like that caused me to stop and consider how a pebble is a formed.
Pebbles on a beach form gradually, over time, as the ocean water washes over loose rock particles. The water turns the rocks repeatedly, smoothing them a little bit every time they turn, slowly giving them a smooth, rounded appearance. The pebbles on a river bed are usually not as smooth as beach pebbles because a river current is gentler than ocean waves. Throughout the erosion of pebbles, they are pushed by the water from one location to another until they reach their final resting place on a beach.
How similar does this sound to our lives and how we are formed? We are like the pebbles and the circumstances we find ourselves in are the water, washing over us, turning us repeatedly and moving us from one place to another. Sometimes we feel like those pebbles, being washed by a current that we have no control over, being bashed against other rocks and pebbles and not knowing where we will end up.
But as a believer and a disciple of Jesus Christ, my life has been placed in his hands. You could say my pebble has been placed in an ocean where the current is controlled by God, the creator of the world.
My pebble will still be washed by waves as God continues to smooth my appearance to become more like him.
'And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.' – Romans 8:28–29
My pebble will come into contact with other pebbles, and bits of my pebble will be removed in the process as God removes things from my life.
'He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.' – John 15:2
My pebble may be moved from one place to another, but with a God-given purpose and hope!
'For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.' – Jeremiah 29:11–13
Beach pebbles are often used for landscaping, construction or as decorative elements. There are similarities between pebbles and how God uses us and our lives to change the landscape of the earth, to build his Kingdom and to make the earth a more beautiful place.
Where is your pebble and what it is being used for? Is it in the ocean of the world, being washed by your circumstances with no purpose? Or is it in the ocean of God, being smoothed by the creator of the world and shaped to look more like Him, with a purpose and hope?
What is your pebble being used for? Is it being used for landscaping, construction or as decorative elements?
I know where I want my pebble to be: in the hands of God being used to build His Kingdom!
Amber Burgess is our Office and Events Manager and she is also a Christian blogger.