How Can We Ever Be a Conch Shell to God’s Glory?

Yippee! We’re going to the ocean! I don’t know how often we traveled there, but I do remember my excitement. My big brother took our inner tubes to the gas station to pump air into them, and I tagged along.

I don’t remember everything about it as I probably was younger than 5 since we moved from California to Iowa when I was 6. But I do remember the emotions I felt. I do remember making a sand castle when a wave came in and washed over me. It didn’t even scare me.

Even though I didn’t really know God then, there was something about the ocean that filled my heart with peace and awe. The memories of the sights and sounds still draw my soul.

I love all shells, but conch shells especially remind me of the ocean. Have you ever held one to your ear?

According to scientists, what we hear is just an amplification of the noises surrounding us. Air bounces around inside the shell and produces sound, the pitch depending on how big the conch shell is.

It will always have a deeper, spiritual meaning to me. A few years ago, as I cradled one to my ear, I closed my eyes and listened. Sweet melodies of God’s grace sang peace as they conveyed God’s power to create and preserve. The waves roared as they came in and slapped the shore, then sang a lullaby as they lapped the sand, leaving ripples of God’s voice.

“Are you listening, My child?” God asked.

“OK, Lord, I hear You, but I’m afraid of what You will ask me to do…” was my timid reply.

“You are a conch shell to My glory,” He gently reminded me. “Listen to My voice, follow Me, and make a sound for Me.”

Conch shells were among the first musical instruments and were often used to communicate in ancient cultures. They are still used today.

It is called the Pū in Hawaii and is used to say “goodbye” and “thanks” at sunset. When someone asked Rev. Alalani how she always blows the conch shell right and pure, she answered:

“Because I let God blow through me. I blow for the cause and to open the Heavens to come and Bless. I give thanks. I do not blow the Pū alone.”

Often I feel I can only produce off-tune static that doesn’t honor God. I am afraid, even when I write here, that I toot my own horn more than His. Or that His love for me isn’t pouring out to others. But I know Satan loves to bring all my shame and insecurities to the forefront and dissuade me from writing anything at all.

It is hard sometimes to tune in to God’s voice alone, isn’t it? And when we do, it’s sometimes easy to wonder if it’s actually filtering out of our own wants or if it’s really His voice. But at the name of Jesus, those negative, self-critical voices must stop. He has the power to calm every storm.

“You are from God, little children,
and you have conquered them,
because the One who is in you is greater
than the one who is in the world.”

1 John 4:4 HCSB

Do you feel full of doubt, shame, and insecurities? You are not alone. Jesus knows and cares about our struggles, and He is available around the clock to give us what we need. Funneled through His cleansing blood, our faltering voices can and will produce wholesome heart melodies to His glory.

May the words of my mouth
    and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing to You,
    O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Psalm 19:14 NLT

Greater
by MercyMe

“Bring your tired
And bring your shame
Bring your guilt
And bring your pain
Don’t you know that’s not your name

You will always be much more to me
Every day I wrestle with the voices
That keep telling me I’m not right
But that’s alright

‘Cause I hear a voice and He calls me redeemed
When others say I’ll never be enough
And greater is the One living inside of me
Than he who is living in the world…”

22 thoughts on “How Can We Ever Be a Conch Shell to God’s Glory?

    1. I’m so glad this was timely for you, Anna. I know you understand how Satan can beat us down with shame, but he will never have the ultimate victory. He sure tries to get the upper hand though, doesn’t he? May we keep our eyes fixed on our Refuge, Redeemer, and Ultimate Victor!

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  1. Oh Trudy, I have such tears reading this. For you see, I am looking right now, across the room to a beautiful conch shell that my granddaughters brought back to me from their time of living in the Caribbean last year. They found many shells, but the conch was the one they decided to give to Grandma & Grandpa. What a precious gift that you have explained so beautifully here. I will never look at that shell in the same way again. May I allow the Lord to bring His precious voice of praise alive in me also. Love and hugs to you my dear friend. xo

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    1. What a precious gift your granddaughters gave you and your husband, Bettie! I’m so glad you will never look at it in the same way again. 🙂 God teaches so many lessons through nature, doesn’t He? Even through ugly creatures, as you posted about recently, He sends hope. May we allow His Spirit to blow through us to produce melodious notes to His glory! Love and hugs to you, too!

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  2. Trudy, I love this post. I often wrestle with do I write to get responses or do I write for an audience of One? I want to bring glory to Him and I can’t allow the enemy to shame me out of it.

    I love the song from Mercy Me you shared! Others may call me a mistake, but He calls me redeemed.

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    1. Thank you, Jerralea. It is a struggle, isn’t it? I have to keep reminding myself that I write for the audience of One, not for more followers, hits, or comments, and I try to give over into His hands where He takes it. That song is so comforting, isn’t it? May we remind each other we are redeemed and never a mistake in God’s eyes, no matter how vicious the enemy can get! Keep writing!

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  3. Always so refreshing and encouraging reading your words Trudy. I’ve challenged myself recently to ask if the goal I create glorifies God. Or is it for something else self-serving? I think I now will also add if it “produces wholesome heart melodies to His glory.” What a beautiful phrase!

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    1. Thank you, Lynn. I need to ask myself that, too. We can so easily fall into the self-serving, right? I worry a lot about that. May we together through Jesus and His saving grace produce wholesome heart melodies to His glory!

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  4. What a beautiful and encouraging post! I love the lyrics of the song as well. Much needed thoughts to help lift our hearts. Thank you, Trudy! As soon as I read about the conch shell, I went to my bathroom to pick up one we have sitting on the window ledge, and I put it to my ear. I was convinced I could hear the soothing, whooshing sound of the sea. Wishful thinking, perhaps… 🙂
    It’s been there for decades, though it was actually found in a charity shop, not on a beach. We don’t have conch shells locally so I bought it because I fell in love with its curves and the freedom it represents. Maybe I ought to listen to it more often. Instant therapy, yes?!
    I truly understand and share your desire to write for God’s glory and to bless and encourage others, and your concern that you might not always achieve it. Maybe those worries are indicative that we at least have this desire rooted in our hearts, and might be less inclined simply to trumpet ourselves? Hope so… Keep on encouraging our hearts though your words, dear friend, because you do it so well! Blessings, love and hugs! ❤

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    1. Thank you, Joy. I had to smile when I read about your going to your conch shell and putting it to your ear. 🙂 Yes, instant therapy. 🙂 God can use any means, right? You have a valid point about our worries being indicative that we at least have this desire rooted in our hearts. I guess it wouldn’t worry us if the desire wasn’t there, right? Then the devil would leave us alone. Thank you for this encouraging reminder. Greater is He that is in us! Blessings, love, and hugs to you, too! May God breathe into us and blow through us to His glory!

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    1. Thank you, Lisa. I’m so glad He’s available 24/7, too! And I certainly need to remind myself to trust His cleansing blood. May we always screen what we say or do through the unconditional love of Jesus!

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  5. Ahhhh, Trudy. I would never, ever call you one who toots her own horn more than speaking praises and encouragements that point people to the Lord. I love this picture of being a conch shell to send out clear sounds to glorify the Lord. These words are beautiful. And your photos? They caused me to take a deep breath and remember times at the beach and the beauty God always creates there. Hugs, sweet friend.

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    1. Thank you for your sweet encouragement, Jeanne. The photos are free from Stencil. They are breath-taking, aren’t they? Hugs to you, too! May we allow God to fill us and blow through us to His glory!

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  6. Trudy, when I was reading your post, the first thought from Jeanne’s comment was literally going through my head! I never get the sense that you are anywhere close to tooting your own horn, and your love for Jesus definitely pours out to others in the encouragement you give. I’m so thankful that, when we think to ask, God is faithful to send the light and truth that lead us to the words He has for us to share. Hugs, friend!

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    1. Thank you for your loving encouragement, Lois. I need to trust more that when we ask, “God is faithful to send the light and truth that lead us to the words He has for us to share.” May our hearts be open to His love and guidance always! Hugs to you, too!

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  7. Oh, you do make the loveliest sound for Jesus, friend. Your words are tender, spiritually intuitive, and grace laden.

    I have often been the recipient of His tender love from you and I am deeply grateful …

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    1. Your kind words bring tears to my eyes, Linda. Thank you. I do so love Jesus. He has brought me through so much in my life. I long that His love blows through me to others. You have been through so much, too, and it’s such an inspiration to me how you cling to Jesus and can’t do without Him. May He fill us so full of His love and grace that it will automatically spill out to others!

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  8. Beautiful, Trudy! I never knew that conch shells were used as musical instruments. That’s so cool, and then to think of ourselves as His conch shells, to play beautiful music for Him through our lives. Psalm 19:14 is my prayer for my words, thoughts, writings and art. Thank you so much for this inspiring post, dear Trudy. Blessings, love and hugs to you! xo

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    1. Thank you, Gayl. Yes, isn’t it amazing? Thank you for sharing that Psalm 19:14 is your prayer. It is often mine, too. Blessings, love, and hugs to you, too! May the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts always be pleasing to our Rock and Redeemer!

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