The Parable of Sea Oats: Hold on to What You Have

sea oatsNearly four decades ago, Miss Sue and I, along with another couple, made our first ever visit to Dauphin Island. We were attending a conference in Biloxi, Mississippi. We had an afternoon off and decided to visit the island. Paul, an Asbury College colleague, and I took off our shoes and walked along the beach. Miss Sue and Margret stayed back by the car. They noticed a patch of sea oats and discussed how beautiful they would be in a dried flower arrangement. They picked a large armload to take home with us. Only when we were backing out of the parking place did we see a large sign in front of the car. The sign issued a stern warning against picking sea oats. We were informed sea oats were a protected grass. Picking or disturbing sea oats was punishable by a stiff fine.

Later, a little investigation provided the following explanation; “Sea oats are well suited to saline environments, and as such, are important to barrier island ecology and are often used in soil stabilization projects because their long root structure firmly holds loose soil. The oats are a crucial component of the area’s hurricane defense strategy” (source: Wikipedia).

Our lives in Christ are often subjected to storms and strong winds of a spiritual nature. John 17 records the high priestly prayer of Jesus to His Father. In verse 15, we find these words,  “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.” We are not exempt from the storms of life, but scripture gives us precious promises and instruction to help us hold on to what we have in Christ. The pressures of this fallen world need not erode our faith. Like the sea oats we can be deeply rooted.

  • Hebrews 3:6“But Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are His house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.”
  • Hebrews 4:14-17: ‘Since then we have a great high priest, who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive help in time of need.” 
  • Hebrews 10:23-25: “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the DAY drawing near.”
  • Colossians 2:6-7:  “ Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”


~ Brother Roy


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