Ashlie Miller: Like sands on the beach

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 3, 2023

By Ashlie Miller

As is true for many North Carolinians, our family’s official summer vacation kicked off with a recent trip to the coast. For many of us, it is a place to relax, clear our heads or pray as we meander through sea foam, pebbles, shells, sharks’ teeth and sea glass. Maybe it is because we can finally pause and, on a tiny scale, see the vastness of our Creator that this vacation spot holds a special place for many of us. I can imagine the hundreds of thousands of pieces of sand I have scooped in my hand while forming a drip castle. How many more millions and billions of pieces have I walked upon? How many more are hidden under the shores?

As I build sandcastles with my children, I am reminded of Psalm 139:17-18, which became a favorite passage from the Bible many years ago:

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!

If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.

How astounding — the God of all Creation has an abundance of thoughts for me! Not just a few, lumped into a pile of common thoughts for humanity, though that is important, too. He has unique ideas for me, Ashlie Miller. After our trip, one of my sons mentioned an online article he found showing macro lens photos of grains of sand. The miniature pieces of geometric art, each piece varying from the next, amazed him! How much more so, the idea that God has a vast array of thoughts, plans and love for us. He is much more than the God of deism, far removed from regularly intervening and being involved in the small nuances of our lives.

This verse from Psalms ends with the idea that if we fell asleep counting all of His thoughts for us, we would wake up still counting them. What love He has for you and me! What love I long to have for One who would love me like that! My love will never match His magnitude or scope for me, but I want to live my life showing Him how much I love Him.

I hope you have a lovely summer and venture to one of our beautiful North Carolina beaches. Be prepared to be overwhelmed by God’s goodness and share it with others. I cannot wait to share more thoughts from my coastal meanderings over the coming months.

Ashlie Miller might be spotted beach combing along the North Carolina coasts this summer when she is not home with her family of 7 in Concord.

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