We were in Oregon several years ago and came across this driftwood on the beach. It was beautiful, yet there is something oddly sad in seeing this chunk of a formerly alive tree lying, abandoned and quite dead on the beach.
Driftwood can be defined as wood that has been washed onto a shore or beach of a sea, lake or river by the action of winds, tides or waves. In other words, it is unwanted debris on the beach.
But, God’s creation can use even that which is dead and washed up as driftwood on the beach. Even this unwanted stuff has a purpose – in the water, it can provide shelter and food for birds and fish. A number of critters, such as bacteria, in the ocean will then decompose the wood and gradually turn it into nutrients that are reintroduced into the food chain. When driftwood is deposited on the beach by the wave or wind, it can shelter birds, plants, lizards, and other animals. It can even sometimes become the foundation for a sand dune. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Driftwood]
In the same way, God can use even those of us who have been washed up and perhaps abandoned on the beach of life, apparently useless to those who pass by. Perhaps we have lost our job and feel useless in taking care of the family. Or, perhaps a spouse has found another and has declared you to be “washed up” and you feel, and perhaps even become, abandoned. There is no seeming end to the abuse that people inflict on others!
Praise the Lord that He has a purpose for each of us. Romans 8:28 says that all things work together for good to those who love him and who are called according to His purpose. In short, the world may see one thing but God sees quite another – an apparently washed up individual is, in God’s eyes, a beloved creation who can minister and function uniquely for His purpose.
When we feel washed up, we just need to wait on the beach of life to see what God will do in and through us. He does not ignore us or forget the plans that he has had for us from the foundation of the world. (Jeremiah 29:11)
When His plans are not readily apparent, we need to rest in His unfailing grace and allow our driftwood life to become a beautiful work of art through His loving touch. It might take some time, but it will be worth it, and He will be with you through the whole transformation!