When thinking about the Economy of Love and living a life of offering, I can’t help but think about Abraham and his family, his faithfulness to God’s promises…and sand. Yes, sand.
In Genesis 22:17, after a staggeringly faithful, albeit tumultuous, few days on the top of a mountain, God reminds Abraham, “I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore.”
We like to look up at the stars in the sky, but who really takes the time to really look at sand?
Strangers and friends, I present to you the wondrous work of scientist and artist, Dr. Gary Greenberg. For nearly 15 years he’s been photographing earth-stuffs with his own specially designed, three-dimensional light microscopes. Behold, what sand really looks like:
When God told Abraham his descendants would outnumber the sands on the seashore, he wasn’t just saying they would be many, he was saying they would be majestic. Each one would reveal the beautiful and wondrously creative nature of God. Every tiny and seemingly insignificant grain would stand as a colossal reminder of what our obedience to God Almighty really creates and what it truly reveals: magnificent LIFE. And the more you magnify it the more and more wonder and beauty it proclaims.
In chatting with my main man, Stephen Grabill, he reminded me that original story of Abraham and Sarah was one of barrenness, hopelessness. Quite literally no LIFE could come from them. Entering into the hope of God’s promise for LIFE in abundance, however, changed all of that. “Abraham’s obedience to God’s seemingly crazy call,” Stephen told me, “reverses barrenness, isolation, brokenness. When we obey, we are in a sense undergoing a divine fertility treatment. A part of that treatment is showing us what real family, real membership in the most real family, really is—to live a missional and sacrificial life, a life lived in union with God, according to his purpose, as a drink offering being poured out for others.”
With this in mind, as you partake in the Economy of Love—whether through your biological family, communal family, or family of faith—as you encounter the barrenness of a broken world, trust God’s call to pour yourself out, to sacrifice, and to love. For in you and through you God is revealing his eternal glory. One stunning sand grain at a time, he is making his children, his kingdom, as numerous as the seashore.
PS – To tie everything together – this blog post, sand, and the holiday – enjoy some Sandi Patty getting all patriotic at Disney World. Happy Fourth of July, y’all.