Every year, George and I take a trip to Orange Beach to get away from the cares of life and get some much-needed rest and relaxation. We usually don't plan a lot of activities. We just walk along the beach twice a day, once in the morning, and again at sunset, picking up shells as the water washes over our feet in the coolness of the afternoon.
It was one of these wonderful evenings as we were walking along the beach, that an older couple came along. As she passed, she said a quick hello, continuing on her way searching for shells. Her husband was walking a few paces behind her. He stopped and asked, "Have you found any sand dollars?" George and I explained we had found some small ones on the beach by our hotel. He continued, "Well, if you want to find some sand dollars, I'll tell you where they are!" We listened as he told us, "Drive about three miles down the road, turn to the right, go a half mile. After you park and walk out on the beach, go left and you will find sand dollars." We thanked him politely and then He went on his way. We didn't give it much thought, but kind of chuckled to ourselves. Growing up in Florida, we both knew that at times you will find shells on the beach, and at other times you won't.
The next day after supper, we were driving back to our hotel when George asked, "Would you want to go check out the beach where the sand dollars are?" Again, I laughed, but said maybe it would be a nice beach to walk on, and we could watch the sun set from there. We did our best to follow the man's directions. It was down a little road in the middle of nowhere. We came to the end of the road, found a small parking lot, and proceeded to walk out on the beach. We turned to the left as the man had instructed and looked along the white sand but saw nothing. Finally, George decided he was going to walk along the water. I stayed up higher on the beach, where there were some broken shells and a few smaller shells still intact. But, I could not find any sand dollars. We continued walking, with George falling farther behind me as we went. After we had been walking for a while, a young lady came running past me on the beach. I watched as she ran past, and when she was about 100 feet in front of me, she stopped an picked something up off the sand. I watched again as she ran a little further and stopped again to pick up something. Curiosity got the best of me. The thought went through my head, "She is getting my sand dollars!" I picked up my pace and went to where she had stopped. I looked intently at the sand but didn't see anything. I had decided that the older gentleman must have been mistaken, or maybe even a little crazy. If the sand dollars had been there for him, they were not there now.
Before long, the young lady had run out of my sight, and I continued to look for what I now believed were sand dollars that did not exist. I picked up a few shells. George was still walking but was about 100 yards behind me now. The sun was starting to set, so I decided we really should start heading back to our car, or it would be dark before we got there. Before turning to head back, I looked up and saw the young lady running back towards me. This time, she had her shirt folded up, as if she was holding something in it. To my surprise, she ran right up to me and stopped. She said, "Have you found any sand dollars?" I told her no. "Would your little boy like these", she asked. I looked in the direction she was pointing, and saw George off in the distance, ankle deep in the water, holding a little red bucket as he kept looking for shells. I had to laugh, because from where we were standing, he did look like a little boy. I explained that he was my husband, but we would like the sand dollars. I asked, "Where did you find them?"
"They are here", she said, pointing to the sand. "They are everywhere, you just have to really look for them.", she finished, as she placed the sand dollars in my hands. For the first time that day, I truly believed. As she ran on down the beach, I turned to head back to our car. As I covered the same part of the beach I had just come from, I now started seeing something I had missed before. I saw sand dollars! They were there among the debris, broken shells, and sea weed. Oh, I had to look intently, but they were there. On what a difference it makes when we believe.
Sometimes the debris and clutter of life makes it hard for us to see God at work. But He is here. Look for God moments in your every day life. They are everywhere.
God's Word says, "You will seek me, and you will find me, when you seek me with all of your heart." - Jeremiah 29:13
Jesus said, "You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed." - John 20:29