Rob Bell, of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville, MI tells the story of his young son who has just waded into the water after collecting two handfuls of smashed sea shells. Now these shells were the type that are all over the beach. Thousands upon thousands have washed up and been trampled upon. The child decides to wade into the water with shell fragments in hands. After a while his father notices a beautiful starfish floating on top of the water within reach of his son. Rob yells to his son to pick up the starfish.
Anxiously the boy looks at the starfish and then looks at his fists, full of broken shells. And then back to the starfish and then again, back to his hands. Suddenly he bursts into loud sobs. Rob shouts out, "What wrong, buddy? Just pick up the starfish!" To this the son blurts out through his tears, "But then I'll have to drop these shells!" Isn't that the case we often find ourselves in. We want the broken shells that are in our hands when our Father wants to give us the coolest starfish in the ocean! We'd rather hold on to what is comfortable or what we know, rather than give up control and allow God to bless us beyond what our human minds can fathom. I learned that lesson this week. God blessed me beyond my imagination by taking away something that I thought I wanted. For this lesson and for the blessing, I am eternally grateful. May we all trust God - the giver of every good and perfect gift.