Working Together for Good

I liked the beach better last time. It was full-sun with clean water and fresh sand. The beach was strewn with partial sand-dollars, with many nearly whole ones. It was a beautiful beach combing day and the girls had fun jumping in the waves. But this time it’s completely different…

This time it’s overcast and there are brownish-green bubbles in the water, and left behind where the waves wash. Green lines are left where each wave has been. And the shore is strewn with jellyfish – thousands of pieces and many whole – instead of sand dollars. If you step on these wrong, you can get stung!

I search the internet on my phone to find out what’s up with the water, and I discovered something surprising. This is caused by an enormous bloom of phytoplankton called diatoms. And that what looks bad today is what beauty for tomorrow depends upon:

“That dynamic of so many diatoms on the north Oregon coast and southern Washington coast means something else rather special for the area: lots of sand dollar beds just offshore and lots of small baitfish. Around the Necanicum River (at Seaside’s 12th Ave. access and the southern tip of Gearhart), there’s something different about the terrain that causes tons of sand dollars to wash up there, making for more whole sand dollars than probably anywhere on the Oregon coast. With all the baitfish coming in to chomp on the diatoms, this often brings in Humpback whales and things like seals and sea lions, which in turn can bring in Orcas. Nature has quite the entertaining food chain going on.” (, italics added).

So, the sand dollars I enjoyed last time, are dependent upon diatom blooms like this one. This provides perspective! The gross looking bubbles are harmless and are actually working something for good.

Knowing that there is a connection between the undesirable circumstance on the beach today and the sand-dollars to be discovered here in the future is helpful. It provides meaning and gives a reason to be patient.

What unpleasant or even problematic thing in your life might God be working together for good? What unanswered questions do you have about life right now?

For my beach question, I was able to do an internet search to find my answer. But in real life, we can’t do this. We do not see the future or the other side of what is happening.

But we can look to God with faith trusting Him. He is at work for His God purposes.

What can we do?

Be real. The greenish bubbles are there. Talk with God and ask Him about them.

See the good. Find the parts of life to be thankful for. There is a still a beautiful view here, and it’s peaceful sitting here listening to the waves.

Do good. Do what you can, to serve, enjoy the day, encourage others, love people.

Bless God through it all. Remember who He is, He is at work, and things won’t stay this way.

“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

God does beautiful things in unexpected ways!

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