Whelk shell found at Shackleford Banks Island, NC.  2016

by Tammy Phillips
June 16, 2020


So, God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind…. And God saw that [it was] good. – Genesis 1:21 NKJV

I really, really like seashells.  I like collecting all kinds of shells.  I enjoy finding perfectly formed teeny, tiny shells and I delight in the great beauty of spiral shells, whether conch or whelk.  They are so intricately formed.  Shells are perfect architecture created by God.  I can see why God saw the goodness in His creation.

I was relaxing on our deck where we have a collection of whelk shells that Kris and I picked up in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  I was studying one old, weathered shell.  I noticed that it was formed layer upon layer, and step by step.  I thought to myself, “This must take forever to build.”  After a Google search, I found out that a mature whelk shell is formed in only about 5 years!  They drink in salt and chemicals from the sea, such as calcium and carbonate and mix it with proteins from their body to form their shells.  They must be laser focused… eat, reproduce, and build.  I guess they don’t get as easily deterred as we do, well, besides trying to survive from enemy predators and the huge storms that often accost them in the seas.  Their elaborate shells become their homes and a place of protection.  As the whelk matures, it makes space for its growing body by gradually enlarging and extending their shells by adding new, spiraling layers.

Isn’t that the way we grow, step by step, layer upon layer, precept upon precept?  We take in God’s word like the whelks takes in calcium carbonate.  His word builds up our faith.

“So, then faith [comes] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”. – Romans 10:17 NKJV

Then like the whelk, we put on the whole armor of God, that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil, our predator. (Ephesians 6:11).

And, “above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one” (Ephesians 6:16 NKJV)

We build our invisible shells by hearing the word and putting on the full armor of God, including the shield of faith.  The more we absorb from the Living Water, the stronger we grow.  And just like the whelk, each new layer in Him is a step up, bringing us closer to maturity in Him.   Each step of faith we take thickens our shell, protecting us from the storms of life and from our enemy whose mission is to destroy us.  Each new layer of faith in us creates the spiral that is our life.

I enCOURAGE you to “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 3:14).  I enCOURAGE you to spiral up.  Take in God’s word however possible and obey it.  Keep taking steps forward in Christ, Word upon Word and precept upon precept.

The steps of a [good] man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. – Psalm 37:23 KJV

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Look at these spiral shells. You can so vividly see each step in the smaller shell.  Fun fact whelks are the cold water equivalent to tropical water conchs.





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