What building sandcastles taught me about God’s grace

building sandcastles title

I built a lot of sandcastles as a kid.

(Or, I at least tried to build a lot of sandcastles.)

Building sandcastles isn’t easy.

They take a lot of work, patience, perseverance, sand…and water.

Buckets and water.

Every time, I tried to build a sandcastle, I’d have to make dozens of trips back and forth to the ocean to get more water.

I’d pour out the water to make the sand just right, and I’d make a few sandcastles.

And, then I’d inevitably run out of water…my bucket could only hold so much you know.

Fortunately for me, the ocean wasn’t far away.

I learned two basic things early on when it comes to building sandcastles…

You have a limited amount of water that you can give and a limited amount of work you can do with one little bucket. 

But, there is an unlimited supply of water in that ocean. 

Which got me thinking…

What if that bucket represented my life?

What if what’s in the bucket represented everything about me, including all of my time and money and possessions?

What am I filling up my life with…and what am I pouring my life into?

If life is all about filling buckets, pouring them out, and filling them up again…what’s the point?

Then, I started thinking about the ocean…

What if the ocean represented God’s grace?

What if what’s in the bucket is only there because He gave it to me?

What if I saw that all of my time and money and possessions really were a gift from Him, and not something that I earned or deserved?

What if life was all about filling buckets with God’s grace, pouring them out, and filling them up again with more of His grace?

What if that was the point of life?

I think I’d be more generous with my time and money.

I think I wouldn’t be so tied to my possessions.

I think I would worry less about my own comfort.

I think I would rely more on God every day and less on myself.

And, I think I’d be making a lot of trips back to that ocean with my little bucket for more of God’s grace.


Truth is, I think we tend to think of God’s grace as something that only benefits us spiritually (like in Ephesians 2:8-9).

But His grace gives you so much more than spiritual life.

Think about it…

You would not be physically alive today if it was not for God’s grace. 

He makes your heart beat so that you can breathe.

He gives you hands and feet and a mind so that you can work.

He provides for you and gives you all that you need.

And, it’s all because of His grace.

You did nothing to deserve or earn the day you were born physically, and you did nothing to deserve or earn the day you were born spiritually.

So, what’s the point of life then?

Pour your bucket into other people.

Be generous.

And, keep going back to that ocean.


And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency[e] in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.  2 Corinthians 9:8



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