Sign up HERE to receive our newsletter

God Hears!

The summer of 1964, I was five years old, vacationing in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Dad picks up an empty conch shell larger than his own hand, and holds it up like treasured bounty–no cracks or chips. I expect he’ll put it down into his bucket but instead, he fastens the shell to his ear, like a telephone.

“Let me hear!” I say, reaching for the shell. He hands it to me.

“Hold it on your ear real tight,” he says. “You’ll hear the ocean.”

It’s true! I’m amazed! My brother reaches for it, and for a change, I want to share. I want him to hear it too.

(Excerpt from my memoir)

 

I’d been struck with delight by the sound of the ocean inside that shell.

Fast forward to just last month, April, 2018.

Walking barefoot on the clear, sunny morning along the coastline of Amelia Island, Florida, I found myself all alone that morning. As delighted as I was to have a few hours to myself while my husband was in meetings with his company, my thoughts and prayers were preoccupied with a friend back home. Right before leaving for the beach, she and I had met for lunch. She shared with me some serious physical, emotional, marital and spiritual challenges. Any one of them could’ve led to disaster. I’d left her with a promise of prayer: “I’ll be storming heaven for you.”

As my bare feet gripped the wet sand, and as I listened to the surf pound wave after wave, I shot up prayer after prayer for my friend. It was almost painful. Was I becoming preoccupied with her problems? I wanted to release them and to release myself from the burden I felt for her. After some time, I finished one last intercessory thought (like Ephesians 1:18): “Oh, God, may she be enlightened…and come to know Your exceedingly great power toward her, as she trusts in You…” My eyes shifted from the pounding surf to the clear, sapphire sky, then back down to my footprints in the sand. And right in front of me, mere feet away, lay the most beautiful, glistening conch shell, all by itself: its damp casing sparkled in the brilliant sunshine.

The shell appeared as if set there by someone.

And without an earthly doubt in my mind, I knew God, the Shell-maker, intended it for me. Just to show me He’d heard my prayers. Do you ever take such signs so personally? Times when you know…that you know…that you know.

It was all the confirmation I needed. Feeling almost giddy, I nearly lifted the shell in victorious praise, right there on the beach.

For us humans, getting caught up in a powerful ocean wave is downright scary! Imagine the journey one single shell makes from sea to shore. Contemplate the shear chaos:

For years, maybe, a shell undergoes hardening and transformation before being delivered and cast across the sand. Had God instructed Mother Nature to send her, following the deep churning, wave after wave? I accept the gift as a sign. God has been there with me, too. Lesson after lesson unfolding in my life, and I’m convinced, in the life of my friend.

Did this sign mean God would answer my intercessory prayers?

Absolutely! Did I know how, when, or what might happen in the meantime? No way. His ways are so much higher than mine. But the question of “if” God would answer was settled. And the mere presence of the intricate shell at the moment I concluded my meditation was astounding to my faith in the power of prayer. This time, it was as if God held the seashell up to His own ear when He heard my

I wrapped the shell like a newborn baby and carried it back home to gift to my friend. I included a note describing how I’d found it.

Two days later, after returning home, I attended an already scheduled reunion of friends. In walked the one I’d been praying for. She sat right next to me. There was a new freedom in her countenance, a clearness to her eyes. She quietly reported to me, she’d been experiencing an unfathomable joy….and a new respect emanating from her husband, one she couldn’t quite explain.

I hadn’t yet told her about the prayers, or about the seashell. But the remarkable difference in her demeanor since our last lunch together was unquestionable.

“He’s just so different,” she said. “He’s become my encourager, and I can’t quite explain it, but we are getting along so well.”

Imagine. From chaos to peace. From infancy to maturity, how much churning do our souls undergo? To God be the glory, great things He has done!

 

Grace & Such strives to advance Christian growth among women. While we believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, we also recognize human interpretations are imperfect. Grace & Such encourages our readers to open their Bibles, pray for wisdom and study for themselves what the Word says. For more about who we are, please visit the About Us page.
Sarah Robinson

Sarah Robinson

Sarah and her husband, Jim, have been married over 40 years. They are the parents of three daughters and the grandparents of three granddaughters. Sarah fills her days with Moms in Prayer, Bible study, writing, and joining her motivated walking group.
Sarah Robinson

Latest posts by Sarah Robinson (see all)

11 Comments

  1. Becky Preston on June 4, 2018 at 7:46 AM

    Beautiful post! Plus I once went with my husband to Amelia Island, when he had a conference there. Beautiful place to relax and pray!

    • Sarah Robinson on June 4, 2018 at 1:23 PM

      Our first trip to Amelia Is and I hope to go back!
      God’s timing is awesome!

  2. Tammy R. on June 4, 2018 at 10:02 AM

    So glad i got to read this story Sarah! Just a wonderful experience for you and your girlfriend…..what a blessing! love ,Tammy

    • Sarah Robinson on June 4, 2018 at 1:24 PM

      Thanks Tammy! Watching the grace of God unfold in her life has been so rewarding.

  3. Rhonda Campbell on June 4, 2018 at 10:03 AM

    Thank you, Sarah! I have had similar experiences with sand dollars at different stages of development. God uses things in our environment to speak to us if we just open our eyes and ears. Thank you for the beautiful reminder. May God bless you and Jim as you continue to serve Him. I love and miss you!

    • Sarah Robinson on June 4, 2018 at 1:26 PM

      Thank you Rhonda!

  4. Susan Boland on June 4, 2018 at 11:27 AM

    Wow Sarah–This is so beautiful! What a sweet testimony to God’s heart for us and the power and gift prayer is for us and those He gives us the privilege to lift up! Love, Susan

    • Sarah Robinson on June 4, 2018 at 1:30 PM

      The thing I keep remembering is right when I prayed to be free of the concern I was carrying around (I didn’t want to be preoccupied with her problems, but I found myself in that mode) that’s when I saw the shell. The uncommon sight of it, and it’s near perfection really helped me turn my worry around. I became convinced God was telling me, “I’ve got this.” And He showed me by her countenance. I hope I never forget it. Thanks, Susan!

  5. Sarah Robinson on June 4, 2018 at 1:31 PM

    The thing I keep remembering is right when I prayed to be free of the concern I was carrying around (I didn’t want to be preoccupied with her problems, but I found myself in that mode) that’s when I saw the shell. The uncommon sight of it, and it’s near perfection really helped me turn my worry around. I became convinced God was telling me, “I’ve got this.” And He showed me by her countenance. I hope I never forget it. Thanks, Susan!

  6. DianeK on June 5, 2018 at 7:36 PM

    I have grown to never believe in coincidence or ‘by accident’ God-moments. And this sounds like one of those! So glad you shared this, and such a wonderful way to join our tumultuous soul journey with that of the conch shell. And I am crazy for shells. So thanks. A blessing to read.

  7. Sarah Robinson on June 6, 2018 at 11:15 AM

    You’re quite welcome.
    Seriously, look at the variety of seashells…such beauty God has placed in our path.
    I pray every child can behold the greatness of God everytime they’re at the shore. Maybe that’s why I love the ocean so much; it reminds me of the first time seeing it, and being awestruck.
    Blessings!

Leave a Comment





%d bloggers like this: