Kingdoms of Sand

“My sand fortress is foolproof!”

It is an irresistible urge, when on a tidal beach, to find where the tide line is, build a castle and wait for the tide to come in. Last year, I watched as up and down the beach the families built edifices of various sizes. We entertain the hope, just for a moment, that our sandcastle will be the first to be stronger than the sea.

Just at the tide line, at the point where the smooth sand meets the undulating yellow sand, is the best point to build because the further to the sea you are, the quicker it will be destroyed. One by one they went: bucket-made castles and spade-dug castles; the big mound dug by a team of children was rendered flat; another giant hole imploded and the sand fell back in. One particularly industrious father watched as his enormous castle, the envy of all the beach, collapsed in one particularly large wave, and his son cried at the power of the sea.

Ours was further up the beach so the waves lapped it only gently. My boy had planned a construction that would allow for a small moat without destroying the tower. It was foolproof. It was sturdy. It had only the smallest waves. But that too was gently, persistently destroyed.

As King Canute learned, you cannot withstand the power of the sea. Neither can you stop the will of God.

In our world’s history, seemingly impenetrable oppressive structures have suddenly collapsed. Terrorist plots have been thwarted. Dictators who were feared in their day have been consigned to a footnote in history.

God cares about justice, even more than we do. Evil seems so powerful that it can never be defeated – but God is watching.

There was a sadness in watching these great human structures fall, but there was also a strange comfort in the natural and raw power of the sea that was stronger than all the fortified cities built.

By the next day, the sand was smooth again, and had only the patterns of the waves in it, the swirls and imprints of the deep.

They slay the widow and the foreigner;
they murder the fatherless.
They say, “The Lord does not see;
the God of Jacob takes no notice.”
…Does he who disciplines nations not punish?
Does he who teaches mankind lack knowledge?

The Lord knows all human plans;
he knows that they are futile.

…He will repay them for their sins
and destroy them for their wickedness;
the Lord our God will destroy them.

– Psalm 94: 6-7, 10-11, 23 NIV

Over to you:

  • How does this image and these verses speak to you today?


Evil seems so powerful that it can never be defeated - but God is watching. Click To Tweet God cares about justice, even more than we do. Click To Tweet

Joining with #fiveminutefriday. This was my best five minutes on Ocean.

(My apologies to regular blog readers – my limited energy is being entirely consumed with choosing bathroom suites and researching cooker hoods as we prepare to move house and organise a renovation! Hopefully, I will be able to get into a better rhythm in Aug/Sep but in the meantime please bear with me as my writing is more erratically timed…)

Those Who Wait – Finding God in Disappointment, Doubt and Delay. For anyone who feels like they’re living life stuck on hold, tired of waiting.

“Readers of Those Who Wait will renew their strength, they will refresh their soul, and they will reconnect to their God.” – Prof David T Lamb, author of God Behaving Badly

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3 Responses to Kingdoms of Sand

  1. Esther 25th June, 2018 at 1:40 am #

    Tanya, in this time when evil is flaunted and seems to be prevailing, the image, your words, and the verses combined to provide a needed,  healing reminder of the sovereignty of our just God. Thank you. Visiting from FMF.

  2. Lisa Hart 24th June, 2018 at 4:22 pm #

    Thanks Tanya – brought back happy memories of castle-building (ones with built-in ball runs were my speciality) and more importantly keeping me focused on the fact that my God is greater, stronger, and far cleverer than the enemy, at a time when I’m feeling bombarded. Bless you x

  3. Roz Owens 24th June, 2018 at 1:12 pm #

    Thank you for this Tanya. It reminds me of the song ‘you will save whom you will save’ by sovereign grace. A reminder of God’s sovereignty in salvation too.

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