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Grains of Sand

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Then Judah said, “The strength of the laborers is failing, And there is so much rubbish that we are not able to build the wall.” – "> OPEN VERSE IN BIBLE (nlt)

Pick up a small handful of dry sand and really examine it. Look at the colors and how smoothly it passes through your fingers. Think about the tiny grains that together make up the entire beach. A small handful is easily moved, but moving an entire beach would be impossible.

Sometimes, there is strength in numbers; sometimes, the numbers are given strength.

Seventy years—that’s how long the Israelites complained about the state of Jerusalem. It’s so much easier, after all, to complain than to take action, work hard, and risk failure.

Thank goodness Nehemiah was not of the same opinion. Miraculously getting the proper permissions, Nehemiah organized the Israelites and began building. Confronted with ridicule and threats, the Israelites wilted. Debate, instead of work, ensued.

How many times have we gotten involved in a project, but never completed it? Or we begin a sentence with “Someday, I want to . . .” and then, the excuses rush in like a tidal wave. We don’t have enough help. We don’t have enough money or time. No one else seems to think this is a good idea. Proceeding might lead to bigger problems.

When God provided a way—and He did so in an unmistakable way—Nehemiah was given the responsibility of keeping projects organized and moving. He confronted those—both inside and outside the Israelite community—who tried to sabotage or give up on the work. He knew that God would not have brought His people this far to abandon them. Nehemiah knew that failure, in this case, would be due to disobedience.

So after complaining for 70 years, the Israelites managed to complete the city’s wall in just 52 days. What an accomplishment!

Now as you pick up and examine another handful of sand, think again about how much tiny specks create such a large expanse. Watch how, individually, they blow in the wind, but when packed together they form a beach that may shift and change, yet always remain intact.

Is there something big you’ve written off as impossible? If God provides, are you willing to be responsible with what He’s given you to do?

Lord, I think about those grains of sand and the Israelites who complained and debated, and their defeatist attitudes. If I’m tasked with a seemingly impossible project, I will trust You to provide the opportunities and to strengthen me. Give me an obedient heart, so that I will not be discouraged. And a grateful heart that I was chosen by You to organize and execute Your plans.

Excerpted from Devotions for the Beach by Miriam Drennan. Thomas Nelson ©2012. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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About The Author


Miriam Drennan is a freelance writer and, by God's grace and providence, works in print, broadcast, and web. When she's not putting words together, you'll usually find her at the dog park with her pups, Sophie and Chance. Visit her at

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