DayBreaks for 3/08/16: A Handful of Sand in a Mighty Ocean
From the DayBreaks archive, 2006:
My sons and I have taken up the practice of sharing thoughts once a week on a particular psalm. It’s been a wonderful experience to read each other’s reflections (they live some distance away from us, so we use email for this practice) and to gather different insights into the Psalm.
Recently, we were meditating on Psalm 51. Here’s a portion of the Psalm: (Ps 51:3-4, 7-13) – For I recognize my shameful deeds — they haunt me day and night. Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just…Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me — now let me rejoice. Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me again the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. Then I will teach your ways to sinners, and they will return to you.
This is an incredible Psalm and a long, long time could be spent to digest and incorporate it into our hearts and minds. My oldest son, Doug, chose to focus on the healing, the mercy of God, and he wrote the following: “This calls to mind, for me, a passage from St Isaac the Syrian (7th century) who wrote that all our sin, in the face of God’s mercy, is like a handful of sand thrown into the ocean.
“A handful of sand is absolutely impotent against the sea. It’s simply swallowed up as if it were nothing. It comes into contact with the merest fringe of the ocean and is consumed immediately by the crashing waves. Though sin is absolutely death to us, and though human sin is the downfall of the whole created order, still, the uncircumscribed immensity of the Father’s mercy, His unbounded love, is present, ready to smother all our microscopic death-dealing sins in an instant, burying them forever as if they never were. Hence, ‘repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.’
“We stagger under the weight of our grains of sand. And they’re more than enough to kill us. But God expends an ocean of mercy on us. I read Psalm 51 as a testament to this.”
Who can fathom the greatest of the mercy of God? Let the mighty ocean of His love and mercy swallow up all your sin.
TODAY’S PRAYER: Without Your mercy, Lord, we would all be destroyed. Without Your love we wouldn’t know what love means or does. Without Your Son we would remain Fatherless. Thank you for taking the sins of my life and washing them away for all eternity! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.