Posted in theology

Standing in the sand

By Elizabeth Prata

I work in education, which means I and most of my friends who also are in education, have the summer off. A LOT of people go to the beach. I grew up in The Ocean State (Rhode Island) and lived for 30 years in Vacationland (Maine) on a lake near the ocean. I love the beach. I love, love, love it.

The tang of the salt air, the foghorns blowing their intermittent warnings to mariners off at the horizon, the putt-putt of the trawlers in the distance, the scuttle of hermit crabs on the wet sand, the glistening of the rounded wave tossed rocks as they tumbled ashore.

As a kid I’d stand on the sea-sand boundary and let the wavelets wash over my feet and ankles. The waves sweep over and around my feet, cooling my toes in the hot sand under the sun. But after only two or three sweeps of the waves, my feet would sink into the sand to a level where I’d practically be falling over. I’d have to constantly readjust.

As I traveled the country, I’d heard a lot about the hard sand of Daytona Beach. It was so packed down that cars could ride on it! This would be unfamiliar to me, the sand is soft at the New England beaches I’d frequented. The Rangers patrolling the beach ride around on Jeeps with balloon sized tires so they don’t sink into the sand.

But even when I stood on the hard-packed sand at Daytona, when the waves came, my feet would sink into it.

I am reminded of the hymn “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less”- here is the first stanza and the refrain,

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus Christ, my righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand

Jesus is the only firm ground upon which to stand. He is the rock! I think most people who have stood on a beach in the sand, or on a desert dune in the sand, knows how unstable it is. Our lives are unstable. Our circumstances change, sometimes in a split second. Our health changes. Our church changes. Our jobs change. Nothing stays the same, ever. But Jesus does. He stays the same, James 1:17 says-

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

He doesn’t even change from the Old Testament to the New! Malachi 3:6 says He is unchanging, “For I, the LORD, do not change; therefore you, the sons of Jacob, have not come to an end“.

I’d rather cling to a rock than a pile of sand. It’s an apt exhortation. Cling not to just any rock, but to Jesus. Jesus is THE rock, the strongest, most transcendent, highest, and eternal rock. He is safe! Safe, that is, if one has repented for their sins and appealed to Him for forgiveness of them.

EPrata photo

24 “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts on them, will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and its collapse was great.” (Matthew 7:24-27).


Christian writer and Georgia teacher's aide who loves Jesus, a quiet life, art, beauty, and children.