The story of the Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse (pictured above) reminds me of one of my all-time favorite movies, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. In this action fantasy film, a special dagger holds magical sands that have the power to turn back time. Whoever wields the dagger is able to alter the future by changing the past.
In the case of the Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse, it was only a matter of time before shifting sands altered its future. Built in 1899, the lighthouse stood 75 feet tall on a dune-less cliff overlooking the North Channel of the Irish sea.
At the time of its completion, it was approximately 650 feet away from the ocean, but as years passed, unexpected beach erosions created growing sand dunes and began shortening the distance between its foundation and the cliff’s edge.
At one point the dunes got so high that mariners could neither see its light nor hear its foghorn. Consequently, due to the laboriously unsuccessful attempt to keep the sand away from the tower, it was decommissioned in 1968.
However, in order to encourage the continued patronage of visitors, the adjacent buildings, which had also been damaged by the sand, were remodeled and turned into a museum and a coffee shop. Unfortunately, they operated for only a few short years before succumbing to the force of nature. By 2002 the lighthouse was officially abandoned and it joined the list of dead sentinels of the sea.
As of today, the lighthouse can still be accessed on foot, but because it is estimated that by 2023 coastal erosion will cause it to crash into the ocean, it will most likely be a lighthouse I will never have the joy of visiting. Unless of course, I am velsignet (blessed) with a roundtrip fare to Denmark before its demise!
Sand is typically made of rocks and minerals that have been finely grounded by the ocean waves. In the Bible, sand is often used as a symbol of innumerable quantities (Gen. 22:17, Josh. 11:4, Ps 78:27) and also as a symbol of weight and instability (Job 6:3, Prov. 27:3, Mat. 7:26).
At times, the trials of life may feel as burdensome as carrying a sand-filled backpack. In fact, you may even feel that your personal struggles are as numerous as the sand. But remember, Jesus never promised us a trouble-free life nor one with limited challenges. What He did promise, however, was that through every difficult situation He would be there with us right to the very end. He even encouraged us to be cheerful during trying times by reminding us that He overcame the world. If you ever feel like you cannot carry the load of your worries and cares don’t forget that Jesus also offered to give you rest if you bring your burdens to Him and submit to his Lordship. It’s all a matter of trusting Him and His promise.
The sands of time will continue to blow around the Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse. They will eventually consume it, but probably not before the eroding shoreline reaches its foundation causing it to collapse into the sea below. Considering this terrible and imminent loss, be careful that your spiritual foundation is built solely on the word of God. The sands of immorality, dishonesty, hypocrisy, and uncertainty will continue to blow around you, but if you remain faithful to God and to His word they will not overtake you. And even if you feel like the grounds around you are crumbling, if Jesus is the Rock on which you stand, you will not fall.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I humbly submit to you and lay my burdens at your feet. For there alone is where I can truly find rest for my weary soul. Thank you that you promised to never leave me alone and to be with me at all times. Help me to be mindful of your presence, especially when the sands of adversity blow in my direction. And when the world around me seems to cave in, I know that my faith in you and in your promises will sustain me. In your precious name, I pray, Amen.
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” -John 16:33 (KJV)
“…for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” -Hebrew 13:5-6 (ESV)
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” -Matthew 11:29
“If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways” -Psalm 91:9-11
-All Scripture is quoted from the NIV except where specified.